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Back to School Balance

By: Josephine Berra 

As a teenager, it is understandable how much we can have on our schedule at one time. During the week, I typically feel so busy with my schoolwork on top of going to practice or a game a couple of hours right after that I barely have time to catch up with my family or relax before going to sleep. Oftentimes, this can make me very stressed and anxious even into the next day.  From meeting deadlines to keeping my room clean, all these things can seriously mess with how I see myself and make me feel totally swamped.

Since we are just teenagers, we are barely on the edge of responsibility. In less than a few years, most of us will be reliant and dependent on ourselves in college or in an apartment of our own. While that can be stressful to think about, it can be extremely rewarding for those like myself. I look forward to being able to live by myself and not have to worry about taking care of the other people in my family. It’s not selfish; it’s growing my independence. Living by myself may also mean that I have a lot more personal space and peace to make decisions, work towards goals, and find abilities I didn’t know I had. This may also help me be much more efficient with my schoolwork. However, with change comes unexpected challenges and responsibilities that I have to recognize.

The Future Is Exciting

Thinking about the future is exciting, but for now, it is important to focus on coping with stress and managing time effectively. At school, I use study halls to complete homework and reserve time for it while cutting back on socializing during sports seasons. On days without study halls, I try my best to start my homework as soon as I get home; otherwise, if I eat dinner and relax first, I won’t even open my bookbag. 

Now, trust me, I do not follow this routine every single day of the week. Sometimes, practice can kill me one day; then, I just want to go home and relax. But this is where the part of adulting comes into managing time. Throughout high school and becoming an adult, I have realized that sometimes things don’t go as planned, and we can’t be hard on ourselves about it. It is unrealistic to give ourselves a schedule and demand that we follow it exactly every day when we never know what the day could be like. However, while there is room to forgive ourselves, there is also plenty of room to motivate, which is what I am currently working on. If you have a rough day at practice or in the classroom, give yourself time to relax. However, when the next day comes around, and you still haven’t done your assignment given to you the day before, it is time to turn off all distractions and get it done.

In the midst of unexpected twists, as we tackle the challenges of high school and early college, remember that pushing ourselves to be our best is crucial. Balancing forgiveness, relaxation, and self-care can be tricky and takes practice. Procrastination is taking the short way out for the longest task, and in all honesty, it never works. It might provide a short cushion for your excuses now, but all it is doing is damaging your mental ability for the future. It’s important not to let excuses replace hard work and effort, which allows us to manage time, workload, self-image, and confidence effectively for a successful future.

The Future Can Also Be Unpredictable

The future can bring unexpected events that can be more challenging. Imagine high school or college life, all going smoothly when suddenly, bam! An unexpected pregnancy hits, and you may feel like it’s throwing your plans off course. It’s scary, but here’s the deal – handle it like a boss. Accept lifestyle changes, reassess goals, get support from those around you, and never give up on your hopes for the future. It may feel tough at first, but with resilience and support, unexpected challenges can turn into opportunities for growth. Life’s full of surprises; face them, work through them, and find chances to grow. You’ve got what it takes to navigate life’s twists, and Birthright is here to help.


Teen To Teen is a series of blogs written by teen authors for teens on topics that matter most to them. Please Note: “Teen to Teen” should be considered peer-to-peer advice and support. It is not given in place of professional consult or care.

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