Photo by Abbigale Elliott
Story originally published in the November 2019 edition of The Paw, our quarterly magazine.
With the school year starting, students are falling back into their routine schedules of sports, clubs, homework, etc. Juggling activities can be hard; the work begins to pile up and the time to do it begins to dwindle.It is especially difficult for students who also work part-time jobs.
Trying to balance everything can be difficult, but there are students that do it every day. Junior Isabelle Ford is one of these students. At her previous job, Ford would log about 30 hours a week. She found it difficult in the beginning to find time for school work; now, at her new job, Ford is creating a new routine.
“Finding time for homework was tricky, but I found a routine that works for me,” Ford says.
Student athletes face an additional challenge. In order to participate in high school sports, students must be enrolled in at least 5 classes and cannot have less than a 2.5 GPA. These students spend most of their week on campus, training both their minds and their bodies.
Ford is also a student athlete. She is on the cross country team and works with senior Molly Kerns.
Senior Molly Kerns is a student that does it all. Her schedule is packed; she’s a varsity cross country athlete, is enrolled in IB classes, has a part time job, along with other extracurriculars.
“My sleep schedule is bad honestly,” Kerns said, “Though I do get really efficient during the day in terms of getting stuff done.”
Kern’s sleep challenge isn’t unique. Often students receive less than the recommended number of sleep–8 to 10 hours according to the National Sleep Foundation–due to their homework load or the challenges of going for an IB diploma. Now add any extracurriculars and part-time work, and students will most likely be receiving even less sleep than before.
When it comes to spending time with friends and family, she sets aside time on the weekends. Kerns finds this to be the best way for her to keep track of her busy schedule.
Balancing a busy schedule is something students don’t have to do alone. Counselors are available any time during the day to talk about ways to help balance all activities.
Counselor Jason Ashley explained how he helps students. He begins by asking what activities the student may be involved in, while also consulting the student’s class schedule. Next, he suggests removing certain things from their plate. Finally, he encourages the use of some sort of calendar, whether it be physical or online. It should be tailored to what works for the student and what would be beneficial for them.
Ashley believes that it is important to find time for yourself within all your activities. Sometimes that means making sacrifices. This may include looking at a schedule change around the time of forecasting, or dropping an activity that isn’t that important to them.
“It’s everything that you guys are doing now, as far as your time management, and with everything that you’re doing. Especially for those that are involved in a ton of things, it’s just going to help make that next step to college,” Ashley said, speaking to the students of Tigard.
He says that learning time management skills now is only going to benefit and prepare students for the future, whatever that may be.
“Make lists and stay organized… and use your time responsibly. I also like to set reminders on my phone so I don’t forget things,” Kerns said.