By high school, the constant pressure of a never ending stream of things to do and places to go really kicks in. When there isn’t homework to do, there is soccer practice. If there isn’t soccer practice, of course there is SAT prep, either at an institution or after school. Beyond those,there are extracurricular things like volunteer or internships. It seems that wherever you turn, there is someone ready with a pile of work to drop into your lap.
Health is expendable in the world that I personally find myself trapped in. Eight hours of sleep? Yeah, right. Many of my peers consider themselves lucky to sleep at twelve and squeeze in six.
This is training, I realize, for our futures as adults in the working world. We must learn now how to prioritize our time. We are conditioned to be this way beginning as students, so that we can become productive adults in the workplace. The only way to feel accomplished, it seems, is to do many different things. If not all at once, then back-to-back. It seems that the working world, where everybody is always on the move, has translated itself into the bubble that is high school and college life. Because our nation’s adults assume the attitude of always being in a rush, children are taught very young that it’s more impressive to do many different things quickly then to slowly and carefully do one.
I agree that time management is important, if not essential to both life and work. However, how much is enough? Are we teaching the next generation of workers to manage their time or are we teaching them that the end result is the only thing that matters?
You see, when we have kids speeding through the day with a filled schedule, we are discarding quality for quantity. Those that have lots to do are always looking to the end, not to the actual activity itself. As long as we are doing something all the time, we must be going somewhere. Again, it’s quantity not quality that is valued, and enjoyment of whatever we may be doing is not significant as long as we get our work done. Instead of putting our hearts into our work, I find many students just wanting to “get things over with.”
High school should be a time of dabbling in different subjects to find a fit and possibly a future career path. It should not be a mess of hurrying, red eyes and a monotonous packed schedule.
So next time, when you are packed for the day and are sick of having a million things to do, slow it down and take a deep breath. Do things for the sake of doing them, not for the sake of getting them over with. If there is one thing that is for sure, it is that time will pass, even without your rushing about. Take time to enjoy what you want to do, and know that it’s okay to take a breather if you need it.
Of course, if you can’t take my advice right away because you’ve grown accustomed to doing a million things a day, it’s all right to take it in small doses.
I mean, what’s the rush?
Susan Lin is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. Although she was born in Brooklyn, New York, she’s an all California girl. Currently on her journey through high school, Susan wants to become more involved with the world and community around her while pursuing her dreams of journalism and design.