Sign of the Times


It’s all in the mindset …

Daven says:

Nobody likes March unless they are a St. Patrick’s Day feen or born in March. In my opinion, as a July baby who hates cornbeef and cabbage, March is truly nothing special. Sports seasons are in a lull. The weather is either cold and rainy or foggy and uncomfortably luke warm. There is only one day off of school and it’s a PD day. The only positive aspect of March that I can think of is daylight savings, and I’m fully aware that some may disagree with me on that.
So we’ve established that March is a dud of a month, no offense to anyone who truly loves it.
But a major contibutor to March’s misery is stress.
Over the years, stress has slowly but surely became a part of me. I got used to it.
Junior year, of course, came with more time doing all the “extra” stuff and less time for homework. Less time to see my parents. Less time to enjoy myself. Less time to sleep.
I have never once enjoyed the idea of excess free time. Or any free time for that matter. Every season, I have a sport or an activity. Every night, I spend my time doing something I love and something I’m committed to. Frankly, I can not imagine coming home from school at 2:10 and not having somewhere to go that night. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
But it became stressful.
The constant rush of my life was like a heavy weight tied to my ankles dragging me down day after day at the end of junior  year.
Senior year, I don’t just do one activity every season. I do multiple. A couple weeks ago everyday I went to track from 2:30- 4:30 and then went to rehearsal for a show I was choreographing from 5 to 9. I thought it would be over after that week and then I realized that this spring that schedule will repeat itself week after week. Every day, out of the house from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. I have no doubt it will be stressful at times. But I have come to realize that I enjoy that.
Stress comes from my expectations that I always have more to do than what I’m doing. There’s always more homework, organization, and everyday boring stuff to do. But that stuff will always be there. And a full schedule is who I am. I enjoy everything I do from the bottom of my heart and I would not change it for the world.
Looking at my daily race with a new perspective changes everything. The weight is lifted when I remind myself that all the stuff piling up on my to do list is there because I make time for things I love.
And when I’m doing them I need to be actively loving them. Not stressing about them.
That simple perspective change has change my world.

Lily says:

Everyone dreads their junior year. Memes always paint it as being the worst year of your high school experience. However, I honestly didn’t think it was that bad, and I think that came from a change in my  mindset.
Now I’m not saying my junior year was a breeze. AP Lit and APUSH both gave me loads of reading every night, but I wasn’t always drowning.
Freshman year I guess you could call me a perfectionist. I spent hours meticulously going through every homework to ensure every answer was correct. But I was also a procrastinator and bad at time management, creating the perfect recipe for  stress.
Sophomore year was not much better.
But something about junior year clicked for me. I don’t know if it was the preconceived image I had of pulling all nighters to study for tests, but last year, and this year, have both been less stressful than my first two years of high school, despite the fact I had two AP classes my junior year and four this year. Why, even with a much heavier course load, am I less stressed  now?
The difference is my mindset.
I no longer fret over the little things. And I try to ask myself, “Will this matter in a month?” Do bad on one test? Not a big deal. Miss a homework? Won’t  matter.
Freshman year, I would regularly stay up to midnight meticulously completing every single homework assignment. But this year, I rarely stay up past 10:30 p.m. and I’ve realized that has made my school days so much more enjoyable. I am no longer falling asleep through every class, every  day.
I am still a pretty busy person. In the fall, I juggled weekly college meetings, and field hockey practices and games. Now, not playing a sport, I still have to balance working out, my daily babysitting job, and four AP classes. Sometimes, I even have time for a nap.
I guess you could call my mantra “work smarter, not harder.” My biggest growth can be credited to prioritizing. Focus on what’s important, and only do what’s left if you have time. Your grade won’t suffer as much if you miss one five point assignment, but it will hurt if you scramble to write the only paper of the quarter the night  before.
Once we all reach the real world, we won’t necessarily get grades for our jobs. Assignments won’t be perfectly laid out with due dates and point values. It will be up to you to prioritize, budget time, and decide what deserves the most effort. Start doing that now.
Change your mindset. If I, one of the most stubborn and skeptical people out there, can, you can too.

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