For those of you who are tearing your hair out over taking as many weighted classes as possible or juggling a million different extracurriculars at once for the sake of impressing the unknowns who decide whether or not you are lucky enough to be admitted into their college, you might want to reconsider how you are spending your time.
Striving to succeed and achieving the honorable are great goals, but it’s easy to overdo it. Many of us have been guilty of biting off more than we can or should chew for the sake of meeting high expectations. Getting good grades shouldn’t be at the expense of all your time and energy.
Just like getting good grades and high test scores is important, so is filling your schedule with activities and subjects you actually enjoy and being realistic about how much you can take on. Just because you can take six weighted classes as an upperclassmen does not mean you should for the sake of keeping your life balanced and not overwhelmingly stressful.
High school is stressful sometimes either way, so why not make the most of rallies, spirit weeks, or other school activities that should be part of the high school experience. No one wants to look back at their days in high school regretting not trying that new sport they always wanted to do or not making friends with that one person they never got to talk to. You still have time to dictate how the next few years are going to play out, so prioritizing and balancing is key.
This is not to say that challenging yourself and working hard isn’t important, because it is. At the same time, you should consider how you want to be spending your time. If you are going to do community service, why not find service opportunities in areas you are passionate about. If you are going to take a difficult class, make sure you enjoy the subject or take another class you do enjoy as well. Getting one bad test grade or not taking “enough” weighted classes, shouldn’t be the end of the world. Realistically, what matters is that you are learning how life works, gaining new experiences, doing your best and accepting your best as good enough.
School should be about learning and building skills that will help you in the future, not simply transcripts and test scores. Extracurriculars should be about spending your time doing something you enjoy and giving back to the community because you actually think it is important, not just carrying out tasks because you are expected to in order to have something to put on a resume college application.
You might think you will have it all figured out by the time you are an upperclassmen, but at least in my experience, you won’t and that’s fine. Your life doesn’t end after high school, so think ahead and be authentic, open to new opportunities and enjoy it all while you’re at it.