Kids today are busier than ever. They have a full day at school, their seasonal athletics, year-round extracurricular training and maybe even a job. With so much to juggle, students must be careful that they are not spreading themselves too thin. The key is to achieve balance in a schedule that is packed to the gills — especially when transitioning from their summer schedule back to school.
Make Sure Your Job Is Flexible
There are many reasons why students get a job while still in high school or middle school. Some of the most popular choices are babysitting, doing yard work for neighbors or working part-time for a restaurant or retailer. Whatever the commitment may be, students must make sure that they can meet their financial needs, such as paying their monthly car insurance, while still having the flexibility to balance school, sports and extracurricular activities. Most companies who hire students understand that working may be a student’s third priority. If a job is not flexible, it may be worth exploring other options, working only during the summer or taking the game season off.
Leverage Study Time During School Hours
Students should explore their options in home periods and study hall. For example, a home period for your first class of the day can provide some much-needed extra homework time in case you had a long game the night before. Or at the end of the day, a home period can provide time to go to the library and do homework prior to sports practice or a session at Competitive Edge. Study hall periods should ideally be later in the day so that homework assigned the same day can be complete. Students must also explore credited teacher’s assistant classes that leave a bit of time for homework, or at the very least, a bit of a brain break. When taking credit-free classes such as home period or study hall, students must ensure they will have enough credits to graduate on time.
Commit to Your Athletic Training, but Don’t Overcommit
While there is no way around the in-season practice and game schedule, athletes need to lighten the rest of their load during their peak training season. This could include any combination of cutting back hours at work, signing up for fewer extracurricular activities and intentionally scheduling in some time each week to relax. It might also be a good time to cut back on cross training. This is, of course easier said than done, so parents may need to intervene to help students prioritize where to trim back on.
Prioritize, Organize and Plan Your Week
Every week will come with its own homework deadlines, quizzes and tests to study for, as well as work, training and practice schedules. Then there is spending time with family, hanging with friends and keeping up with chores around the house to factor in, too. With so much to juggle, things can quickly become overwhelming. This means that kids must:
- Prioritize their daily and weekly tasks.
- Organize the supplies they need for each day.
- Plan and schedule their week in blocks of time.
- Schedule time to sleep in, hang out with friends and just have fun.
Athletic and extracurricular activities are proven to improve GPA, increase self-esteem, expand social circles and make students more attractive collegiate candidates. However, students have to be careful not burn themselves out. Snag a few of the tips above to help your favorite student achieve that desired balance.
Competitive Edge aims to develop the “complete athlete” using performance sports training in Woodbridge, VA and surrounding areas. Members are able to enhance their athletic performance and develop a competitive edge to excel in their desired sport.