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All I Do Is Work - April 19th 2016, 10:16 PM

I'm really struggling to balance school and having a life and it's stressing me out. Literally all I do is school work and my volunteer shifts at the local animal shelter. I don't go out with friends. I don't text them or call them. I don't hang out with them outside of school. I don't go shopping or to parties or to the movies or have any fun at all. I can't because then I'd never finish all my work. And next year it'll only get worse because I'm going to go from taking two AP classes to taking four or five. I'm seriously wearing myself out so if anybody has any advice it'd be much appreciated.
   
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Re: All I Do Is Work - April 20th 2016, 03:18 PM

Hey there (and welcome to TeenHelp by the way!)

How many shifts do you do for your volunteering? It can be really good to volunteer for many reasons, but you still need your own free time outside of school and volunteering. If you are doing a few shifts, it might be an idea to evaluate how much volunteering you want to do.

School can definitely get busy, and when it comes to exams, it's quite common for people to have less free time. How do you manage your school work? It can be really helpful to use a planner and make a schedule for yourself, whilst including free time in there too. It's good to pace yourself and do a bit of school work every night, rather than trying to get a complete essay done in one night and feel like you have over worked yourself.

I'm not familiar with your school system, unfortunately, so I hope others can help you out with this too!


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Re: All I Do Is Work - April 20th 2016, 04:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetahsdontcheat View Post
I'm really struggling to balance school and having a life and it's stressing me out. Literally all I do is school work and my volunteer shifts at the local animal shelter. I don't go out with friends. I don't text them or call them. I don't hang out with them outside of school. I don't go shopping or to parties or to the movies or have any fun at all. I can't because then I'd never finish all my work. And next year it'll only get worse because I'm going to go from taking two AP classes to taking four or five. I'm seriously wearing myself out so if anybody has any advice it'd be much appreciated.
Hey, I have trouble with this, too. My major is very demanding and I have little free time outside of it. I, also, am not the fastest person when it comes to studying (nor am I good at retention, so often material requires frequent reviewing).

The way I look at it is that this is only for a period in your life. It will pass. You're doing all this to better yourself so that later on you can take it 'easier' and have more of a life while you're younger. However, it is essentially to balance yourself as well.

Personally, I've found this mostly deals with time management, and EFFECTIVELY studying. Every night before I go to bed, I make goals for myself the next day. I do this to space my work out. When I wake up, I make a schedule for each of my goals with a realistic time frame. I then find an isolated area and complete my goals. I'll typically study 2 hours straight, then take a 15 minute break. I do this for roughly 6 hours of studying (or 6 hrs 45 min total). I follow this schedule Sunday - Friday, and leave Saturday for free time. I also set a designated time that I stop my work. Typically you'll want to stop around dinner time every night. This guarantees free time after dinner to do what you want.

Personally, I wake up earlier. On days that I have off instead of sleeping till 10 am, I wake up at 6. Why? Because by noon I can be done studying for the day. Essentially what it comes down to is developing a habit that works for you. Sit down, write out what obligations you have, and schedule time to study around it. If you have an hour block off between classes, take that hour to study rather than talking with friends.

I think the most important thing is finding an isolated spot. You'll be surprised how much you can get done when you're isolated and not talking to friends or distracted by people watching, or listening to music etc.

Other than that, I'd say one of the most valuable things I've done is setting 1 day a week where I do nothing but what I want. It allows me time to recoup.

If you're having trouble doing this, or managing your schedule, sit down with a school counselor. They will help you effectively manage your time. It's also important that you do this BEFORE you get burnt out. Studying too much can wear you out and you will be less efficient.

I think it's important to realize that no one is perfect. Expect not to finish everything, but TRY to. You don't need to get 100% on everything. Despite this 100% doesn't really prove anything other than that you're good at test taking. It doesn't really prove mastery over the material. So maybe focus on just learning the material, rather than stressing over grades (I don't know if you do this, I'm just talking about from my experience).

As you've mentioned, space out your work. The day I get an assignment, I'll try to anticipate my future workload and divide that workload evenly throughout the week. This way I'm not spending 6 hours on one topic.

Lastly, one other thing I've found that's helped me to some extent is that when I am working on STEM related courses, if I get stuck on a problem, I'll stop what I'm doing and move on to another subject. Your brain tends to work on the problem subconsciously. So if I get stuck, I'll work on another subject for 30minutes or so and then return to the problem. If I'm still stuck I'll move on.


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Re: All I Do Is Work - April 20th 2016, 07:50 PM

Firstly, it's fantastic that you're volunteering your time. The world needs more people like you. About being ridiculously busy, that's the story of my life. My school demands a lot from me, both academically and otherwise. Between all of that, I have little time for my friends, and we are starting to split up now. I think that the best way to handle this is to find a time when you are free, and go to your friends and say, "Hey, I've got some free time at whenever and I'd really like to do something with you." If they are good friends, they'll usually say yes.

As for parties, if you're very busy and out of the loop, parties can actually be a huge waste of time because you won't enjoy yourself as much. If you are going to parties, make sure that its with people you know so you don't end up alone in a corner.

Lastly, if you are feeling like it's all too much and you can't handle it, just take a moment to breathe, organize your thoughts, put on some music and get down to work. There's no time like the present. Just take things one day at a time.

Good luck!
   
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