Balancing life with the start of school

As summer comes to a close, the last thing many students want to do is go back to school. After all, the beginning of school also means the beginning of school sports, homework, school clubs, etc. In literally one day, most students’ routine of sleeping and eating turns into responsibility after responsibility after responsibility. This can be very overwhelming. Senior Nolan Dickson is an example of someone who is involved in many school-related activities, but still manages to effectively regulate his time. Dickson is involved in Varsity Football, Varsity Soccer, Band, Student Council, Student Ambassadors, and Key Club, and according to him, being involved in activities that you enjoy is the first key to effectively managing your time. “To me, the biggest thing is having a passion for what you do. If you’re enjoying what you are doing, you want to get up in the morning, or attend that extra practice; everything works a lot smoother. Staying on top of scheduling and being prepared for active participation helps me navigate each day,” Dickson said. Of course this is all easier said than done. A change in routine is often very difficult, especially considering the amount of time put into a school-related activity and the amount time it takes to complete a school assignment. However, it is not impossible. “With the start of school, there’s definitely some readjustment, getting back into the groove of things. Sometimes you stop to think, and you catch yourself wondering, ‘Man, this happened fast!’ That’s okay, the best part is being active and involved. Just make sure you enjoy the ride,” Dickson said. Finally, the most important way to effectively balance your time is to find a way to sufficiently relieve stress. After all, relaxation is key, and according to Dickson, this relaxation can be found from the simpler things in life. “Reading helps me a lot, as does music. Occasionally I will write, too. For me it’s about clearing my mind, or working out whatever is occupying my thoughts. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things; the important thing is to stay grounded and to always appreciate each day and every moment you have been granted. My biggest unwind moment is driving home, listening to music,” Dickson said. “It is a process that is not going to come easy. I don’t think anyone ever masters it, and by no means is there a one-size-fits-all solution; finding a personal balance is key. Be effective with your time, but guard against becoming a machine–everyone needs rest and relaxation at some point. Also, be careful about compromising personal relationships with friends and family. You don’t need to be everyone’s counselor or 24/7 phone line, but do be sure to make time for people in your life: they are an extremely important part of your success and happiness. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you enjoy it. My dad always reminds me, ‘There’s only one person you have to live with . . . and that’s yourself.’”