They say school years are the best years of your life. For students, it’s a time when they make friends, try new things, discover areas of interest, reflect on values and spiritual matters and learn about how they can make a difference by serving others. It’s also a time when teenagers need to discover how to balance time pressures with mounting workloads, activities and life outside the classroom.
It is our (parents and teachers) role to encourage teens to achieve balance in their lives. It helps them realise that by attaining balance in different aspects of their lives, they can achieve wellbeing for themselves. Below are quotes from students who share how they manage to strike a balance between school work, exercise, serving others, part-time work and a social life.
“Schoolwork itself is mixed with social contact, and that promotes being social. Get together with your friends, help each other out and, once you’re done with the necessary studies, there is enough time for my job, and my sport .”
“Prioritise the tasks you are given and don’t procrastinate.”
“Thanks to the help of my teacher, I managed to find a balance between my academics, volunteer work and extracurricular activities fairly quickly. We made an online colour-coded calendar, where I would add assignment due dates and the dates of other commitments. I then allocated a specific amount of time for each task, which helped me sort out everything I needed to do.”
“I was not only a fulltime Secondary school student, but also an athlete. I struck my balance by looking at my training as my escape. This is what I would do to relax rather than spend extra time unwinding with what I would call ‘empty activities’.”
“To make reflections easy and have more time to do other things, every two weeks write a mini reflection; just a paragraph about the activities you have been doing and what you’ve been learning about: this constant reflection helps guide your future thinking and planning”
“Share your calendar with your parent. Then they can regularly check in to help make sure you’re not getting ahead of yourself, and that you’re making time for study, social, as well as extracurricular activities”
“Support from friends who are going through school with you is important. As well as being able to socialize with them, they will continue to stay positive even when everything seems too intense. I can honestly say I enjoyed school because I was able to stick to my personal philosophy of always trying to improve myself mentally, physically, and spiritually, which made it much easier to strike a balance between all my commitments.”
“Each day has 24 hours. It’s up to you how you utilise that time. It’s enough to manage between school, my weekend job, exercise, social media and social lives. A student needs to have the attribute of being “well-balanced”. After all, the world after school is ours for the taking!”
For a student going through Secondary School, it can seem at times that it is hard to decide which opportunities to focus on. There is sometimes the feeling that they need to ‘keep up’ with students who seem capable of doing it all. For many of us this is actually impossible and trying to do so is detrimental to our wellbeing and overall health.
Secondary school is a time for experiencing many different opportunities and then focusing in on the things that a student is passionate about. It’s a process of discerning and sorting, through both maturity and developing mastery in different areas. It does not mean that students shouldn’t engage in opportunities that the College provides or should not work to achieve their own personal best in all areas. Rather they recognise and acknowledge personal success and not judge this success against other’s achievements. We want all our students to recognise and acknowledge their own personal goals and strive to achieve their personal best.
As students progress into the Senior years and become more refined in the areas in which they hope to have success, it is important for them to balance their time, to gradually be more focused and discerning in opportunities that add value to their development. This is learning about balance for wellbeing, time management and mastery, skills which are valuable for life after school.
Mr Brad Bowen
HEAD OF SECONDARY