Managing a busy schedule: advice from the expert

Many times people have asked me how I manage to balance everything. Those who know me, know that I have assumed numerous leadership roles in Curtis. Between being captain for the softball and volleyball teams, editor of the yearbook, president of the school, and a part of various outside organizations, people wonder how I am able to maintain my dedication to all of the different  activities. The truth is, my life is full of difficult decisions in figuring out what things take precedence. I often have to examine my schedule and decide which events I have to miss, and which I have to make.

The key to time management is a well-updated schedule. Whether it’s a lunch date or a project, I make sure I enter the date into my calendar. With so many things to keep track of, it’s impossible to remember everything, and my calendar has become the most crucial app on my phone. Because I have my phone on me at all times, I am able to quickly access and update my calendar. Although I overlooked the use of the calendar for many years, it was in senior year that I realized the amazing potential that my phone had for organizing my life. Whether it’s making checklists, keeping updated on e-mails, or monitoring my calendar, my phone has become an important device for not only communication, but organization.

Another part of dedication is doing the things you love. If you don’t love what you do, you cannot possibly put your heart into it, and your dedication will waiver. In my first two years of high school, I tried many different activities, including clubs that I can’t imagine remaining loyal to. I learned that basketball was not my passion, and in my junior year I dropped it in order to make room for other things I was interested in, things such as yearbook and student government. If you love something, you’ll stay dedicated to it, and it makes it easier to make decisions. Do not be afraid to adjust your schedule based on your interests. People change over time, and their interests change too. Because you’re interested in newspaper freshman year does not mean you’ll be interested sophomore year. It is okay to drop things. Feeling guilty because you drop an activity that you have been a part of for a long time does no one any good. Not only are you wasting your own time, but you are wasting the time of the other club members and fellow team members if your heart is not in it. Life is short, and wasting time is not something that I recommended.

Finding your passion and weeding out the activities you don’t find interesting helps you prioritize your life. If something is important to you will have the desire to continue with it. Both fortunately and unfortunately for me, I am a girl of many passions, and have found myself entrenched in all sorts of Curtis activities. Although I have become well-rounded, there are times when I am spread too thin, and I have to struggle through weeks of practice, deadlines, celebrations, and events without a break. This is where my last piece of advice comes in. Make time to have fun. See a movie, read a book, or travel the world. Balancing the working world and my social life helps me maintain happiness, and gives me the energy I need to continue living a busy life.

In conclusion, I encourage you to heed my advice. I have learned that hard work and commitment has rewards, but only if your whole heart is in it. Maintain your social life by putting aside time to enjoy yourself. Also, however, make sure to maintain your academic and extracurricular life by utilizing important tools such as calendars. Don’t regret dropping activities that were not enjoyable to you, your time in high school is limited and should be centered around your own personal enjoyment (as long as it doesn’t negatively affect anyone else’s.) Ask for advice, get help if you need it, and utilize the numerous resources that Curtis has to offer. Be involved, and be happy. Don’t make the same mistake twice, and develop and grow from your mistakes. Use the summer to recharge for the upcoming school year, and know that there have been people before you that have been faced with the same problems. There is always a solution. Be motivated enough to find it, and to find happiness.