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Make a Comback from Chaos!
Every morning, I wake up from anywhere around 5:30 a.m.- 7:00 a.m. and groggily prepare myself for school. Once at school, I am loaded up with all sorts of worksheets to complete, labs to execute, handouts to read, and charts to analyze. Mustering any remaining energy, I drag myself home to start on yet another set of worksheets, labs, handouts, and charts. In between assignments I squeeze in dinner and a shower, all the while lost in thought over when I will have time to call back my friend or watch that season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Of course, I can’t bypass family; my mom and step-dad contain an unsurpassable ability to hunt me down and instigate for hours upon hours the course of my day. After all the activity I am left fatigued and stressed, yet I feel the need to aside a few precious minutes to express to God my gratitude for that sweet soccer goal or irritation from arriving to class tardy.
Such responsibilities pile up and leave young people such as myself drowning under the pressure of fulfilling each commitment. It seems that teens must choose one subject in which they will shine and simply give up on the others. As average people with no superhuman control over time, adolescents find being all around successful too hopeless to even attempt. Teens are overwhelmed with serving out loyalties to schoolwork, sports, church, family, and friends and must create balance in their schedules to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Having a system in life is necessary. Without the balance of a reasonable system for managing activities, teens will either misuse their time or not allot it to their responsibilities evenly. This chaotic lifestyle becomes unhealthy very quickly, as it overwhelms teens to the brink of emotional breakdowns. The strain of pleasing everyone and keeping commitments in line produces tremendous stress and anxiety that weighs down on teenagers and in most cases provokes physical and mental unsteadiness. Weight loss, weight gain, headaches, backaches, skin breakouts, nausea, and dizziness are only a few of the physical consequences of stress; inability to relax, short temper, and restlessness are a few mental effects. Ellen Jaffe of HelpGuide.org says that 60 to 90 percent of illness is stress-related.
Although it seems impossible, order and balance is attainable for everyone. A sense of equilibrium is visible in nature with the circle of life; animals die or are eaten to prevent overpopulation. As one can see, the ecological world has a strict system to keep wildlife under control. Is it possible that humanity could learn a lesson from the very beasts it has spent years taming?
Lack of organization has a solution as simple as becoming a victim of the problem itself. Simplify! By cutting down or combining events, people will find themselves with more time to spare for enjoyable activities.
Instead of overworking your body by trying to take part in a sport every semester, focus on only one. This way there will be more time to practice at that specific game, and you will become a key player instead of being average at the multiple sports.
Moving on, friends and religion are usually the first two priorities people toss when in desparate need of more time; however, there is no need to restrain yourself! When one is with friends or god, they can truly relax because they can be themself. To have time to maintain or even enhance those special relationships, teenagers can combine time for friends and time for religion. Take your friends to church or a parish picnic. Hold a prayer service together; raise money for a charity! Learn to be an altar server! True friends won’t care what you do, as long as you are together.
The good thing about friends is that they are on your level; they can relate to having a jam-packed to-do list! Although they will understand when you don’t show up for the weekly Project Runway gab session, friends should not be taken advantage of. As a substitute for lengthy phone calls or sleepovers on weeknights, text your friends! It is a quick way to remind buddies you care.
As for homework, everyone will admit it is of paramount importance to hand it your best work. To ensure this happens every day, take advantage of free time at school. Whether it is an off period or extra lunch time, use free moments to ask teachers questions to avoid confusion on assignments when at home. When people understand the task at hand, they work faster!
Don’t stall. Attend to your work as soon as you get home so that you don’t forget what was assigned. A quick snack is not a problem, but nothing is a larger waste of time than avoiding work simply because you do not care to sit down and spend the energy to finish it.
From my experience with teenagers, I can honestly say most people from the age of twelve to eighteen do not desire to give a full explanation when a parent says, “Honey, come sit! How was your day?” However, quality family time should never be in jeopardy. Allow yourself one activity with family per night. Spending time with family is indispensable, so cheer at a sibling’s basketball game, eat dinner together, or watch American Idol and poke fun at Paula along with the rest of America.
Above all, don’t waste time worrying! In place of crying and feeling sorry for one’s self because an English essay is due within the week, hop on a computer and form an outline! Sometimes people spend more time fretting over a commitment than they do actually fulfilling it.
Teenagers do not have time to throw away. If they do not take control and create a balance in their agenda, they might as well be back in kindergarten, where chaos is the norm and lack of organization is expected.
Maryland Heights, MO