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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Balance between school life and extracurriculars and athletics

Students+hard+at+work+during+class.+Many+students+struggle+with+balancing+work+with+play.+Students+share+how+they+overcome+distractions+and+prioritize+their+work.
Courtesy Bruce Matsunaga
Students hard at work during class. Many students struggle with balancing work with play. Students share how they overcome distractions and prioritize their work.

Every student wants to find that perfect balance between their life inside and outside of school. Some students prioritize outside life and mental health over education, while others do the opposite. Succeeding in high school is about combining hard work in school with time spent enjoying life. Several WJ students shared how they strike a balance between school and other activities. Commitment to school varies among each student and the situation they’re in.

“I make sure to do my homework every day after training two times a day,” sophomore Dylan Cain said.

Cain represented the U.S. in the 2023 Olympics in figure skating and was able to win a silver medal. In addition to that, Cain also takes challenging courses as a sophomore. He is enrolled in Honors Precalculus and AP Physics, which are two notoriously difficult classes.

Cain also needs to wake up at 5:00 a.m. for his morning practice in addition to his afternoon practice.

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“I go to bed at 10:00 p.m. to make sure I get 8 hours of sleep, so you have to go straight to the homework as soon as you get home,” Cain said.

Some students like sophomore Evalyn Grocki participate in a school sport with moderate hours.

“You have to time manage. It’s going to mean losing a little sleep and a higher stress level. Your grades might suffer a little, depending on who you are,” Grocki said.

Grocki practices with the JV Volleyball team once a day after school at 3:30.

Although time management may be an obvious solution to balancing daily life, it’s easier said than done. When managing their time, students must always be mindful of their mental health.

Sophomore Sammy Herman is on the WJ crew team and practices daily.

“It’s important to find time to relax during your day. I think mental health is critical in maintaining your grades, and it can be lost in all the schoolwork and extracurriculars,” Herman said.

One of the reasons time management is so difficult is that students need to plan their schedules around their extracurricular activities. No student’s schedule is the exact same, and everyone has different priorities. Obstacles like procrastination, distractions or poor prioritization skills can lead students to push their work to the side in favor of things they would prefer to spend their time doing.
As social media continues to bring about the rise of a shorter attention span, focusing on the things you have to do but don’t want to do becomes increasingly difficult. The key to completing your work and conquering your procrastination is to identify your procrastination, remove all distractions and commit to a task. Formulating this kind of pro-work mindset will help increase your productivity, boost your grades and most importantly, give you more time to do things you want to do.

Some people may view procrastination as an inevitable trait that cannot be stopped. But the simple truth is that the only reason anyone procrastinates is because they choose to. Once you identify procrastination, you can break it down and remove any of the inhibiting factors. After that, you can truly kickstart your life into a more productive, positive manner.

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