10 Tips for life and highschool (specially formulated for mentally ill workaholics)

10 Tips for life and highschool (specially formulated for mentally ill workaholics)

Ashley Walters, Staff Writer

So, senior year is coming to an end. I’m finally committed to Juniata College for history, and I can rest about major life decisions for a hot second. Really my only reflections have to do with what I did right and wrong. Plus, I really like giving unwarranted advice. So here it is! Of course, I’m no expert and these won’t work or apply to everyone, and in fact I tend to think I’m a little smarter than I really am. Anyhow, let’s get into it.

Tip 1: Don’t absolutely fill your schedule with activities, but still have a healthy amount of involvement in your community. There’s no use in doing a million different activities if you’re not going to be able to put your full focus and effort into each one. Also, look for variety in your activities. Try something new and out of your comfort zone! I know a lot of counselors and advisors tell you to get out of your comfort zone, but I really didn’t grow as a person in high school until I followed that advice. For me this happened to be theater, but it could be anything!

Tip 2: Don’t stress about choosing a college until late junior year and early senior year. Feel free to focus on the present and figure out what you even want to do after high school first.

Tip 3: Take breaks. Take short term breaks when working on school work (5 minutes for every 20) and long breaks after a busy week (1 day for every 6). TAKE SOME TIME TO DO WHAT YOU WANT. Your goals will still be there after that break, and you’ll be more focused when you try to reach them.

Tip 4: Learn how to study. Do NOT wait until the night before a test in a subject you’re struggling in, and especially not college, to find a study system that works best for you. (try active recall!) If you don’t have a study system, one day you’re going to find a subject that you’re not going to ace without studying, and it will be a slap to your ego.

Tip 5: Get your license ASAP (if you can afford to). I cannot stress the convenience of having your license, especially if you do after school activities. 

Tip 6: Get on a consistent sleep schedule. Staying up late isn’t cool or unhealthy in a quirky way, it’s just plain boring and unhealthy. Go to bed. And if you can’t feel drowsy at bedtime, take some melatonin.

Fact time:

Sometimes it’s also easy to get caught up in your phone or a project that can keep you up at night. It helps me to think of when it’s time to go to sleep as the beginning of my next day when I don’t want to go to sleep.

Tip 7: EAT BREAKFAST. (In fact, just make sure you’re eating 3 full meals a day in general) Breakfast is crucial for regulating your metabolism. If you’re getting up every morning and running on empty, NO WONDER YOU’RE EXHAUSTED!! And no, a coffee and a protein bar do not count as a full breakfast. 

And if skipping breakfast is some sort of scheme you have for weight loss, just know that not eating breakfast and not eating enough is what could reverse the effects you’re going for. 

Tip 8: Keep a calendar. This may seem simple, but I know a lot of insane people that don’t use a calendar or planner to keep track of their to-do’s and activities. I know online calendars especially help me a lot, because they’re always on my phone and I can add things as they come up. I personally like FamilyWall because it allows my parents and I to share our events so that our schedules work out. Also, I’ve been using WaterDo for my to do list, and I actually have been getting my stuff done! Trust me, you can’t keep all of that in your head.

Tip 9: Get a job if you have time to. A big thing I regret from high school is not getting a job sooner. I haven’t set any time aside to work except for this summer, which means I’ll only have the summer to save up some extra money for college and get some experience in. If you take my advice and get a license as soon as possible, you should be set to work that job. 

Tip 10: BE NICE TO YOURSELF. In other words, don’t beat yourself up over mistakes, and certainly don’t tie your identity to your track record. What I’m saying is that if you’re a perfectionist, let go of that quickly. You should feel proud of yourself for your effort, and sometimes your best will not be enough. So don’t go having a mental breakdown about your first grade that doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s great to have goals and it’s great to put effort into reaching them, but don’t think of yourself as a failure. You learn things better when you make mistakes first anyway. 

However, this rule of being nice to yourself works the other way too. If you haven’t focused much on school in the past, it’s never too late to try to fix up your grades for college apps. Just don’t get it in your head that you’ll never do well at school or reach your goals, because that’s how you’ll actually fail. 

Hopefully you read these tips and take them into consideration. As someone that’s constantly tired or experiencing some sort of medical issue, I can surely say that lacking on these is usually what leads to my burnout. I’m ready to break outta here. Bye!