As the 2021-22 school year begins for many students across Indiana, it has made me reflect upon my highschool career and realize just how hectic it had been. Everyday my time was split between what felt like fifteen different things: FFA, academics, sports, clubs, extracurriculars, baking, family, friends. After school I would have Livestock Skillathon Practice until 5. But I had to leave early to get to soccer practice by 4:30. And then I had to go to the barn to work with my dairy heifers. And then I had to be home to bake a cake for an order that I had taken. And then I would have to go home and do homework for two or three hours. And then and then and then.
Every single day felt like a continuous “and then.” I was stuck in a cycle of taking too much on with too little time. It was draining. It led to burnout. Because of this, I had a horrible case of senioritis. I did not want to do school work during the day, so I didn’t. You would see me in Mrs. Brashaber’s calculus class working on FFA stuff almost every single day. Because of this, I would do almost six hours of calculus the night before the test so that I could teach myself the lessons. (I would strongly discourage doing this. It led to a slight energy drink addiction and was so much more difficult than just paying attention in class lol).
While I did enjoy my highschool career, it was not fulfilling. By constantly focusing on what was coming next (the “and then”), I often forgot to live in the moment. Accomplishments in high school did not register in my brain because they were simply something to check off my to-do list. I was living an unbalanced life: one that was focused on the future and not the present.
My entire highschool career I struggled finding a balance between academics, FFA, and athletics. As you are beginning this new school year, I would encourage you to try and find that balance. Find a balance in which you are truly happy with your life and what you have accomplished. I will not tell you to prioritize academics. I will not tell you to prioritize FFA. I will not tell you to prioritize athletics. Instead, I would encourage you to remember your limits and realize that life is a balancing act.
Finding a Balance,