The Capital News welcomes a new regular contributor to our newspaper, Amber Krogel. Amber is a Grade 12 student at Kelowna Christian School. She has lived in Kelowna for most of her life and has five siblings. Her parents pastor Willow Park Church “South.” Amber is interested in theology, sociology, politics, psychology and coffee. She wants to bring a perspective of what teenagers are thinking and talking about in her column.
Since school started two weeks ago, it seems that my calculator has been getting excessive use while my paintbrushes are being neglected.
The transition from long summer days, when having ample time to create a piece of art was the norm, to hectic school days is one that students can never fully prepare for.
It seems impossible to fit in enjoyable pastimes amidst all the homework, extracurricular activities and hours spent in the classroom.
Even when I do have free time, the most I can do is collapse on the couch, let alone hold a paintbrush or read a book.
With so much going on, how do you ensure that you keep your sanity and have some time to do the things you love?
Saying yes to everything is likely not a good start. Whether you play sports, take music lessons, tutor, or feel the need to join every club your school has to offer, it is important to keep one or two weekdays free.
Sadly, you may even have to say no to hanging out with friends some days. The free time this creates is ideal for homework, hobbies and simply relaxing at home.
If your hobby happens to be Facebook, this time is likely to pass by quickly and still leave you feeling stressed.
The other day, a friend complained to me that she had spent an hour the previous night lying on her bed, scrolling through Facebook on her iPhone.
When she finally realized how much time she had wasted, it also became clear how much she could have accomplished instead.
At the end of the day, accomplishing what needs to be done and doing something significant with your time is more important than looking through photos of a friend’s party.
However, even without social media, it seems that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
An easy solution to this problem is getting up earlier.
Sleeping in until the last possible minute and rushing out the door to school only adds to the feeling of stress and chaos, while starting your day earlier allows you more time to get organized and do the things you enjoy.
Earlier mornings may also call for earlier nights, as studies show that teenagers need between eight and 10 hours of sleep each night.
Depriving your body of the sleep it needs may generate more time each day to accomplish things, but it will also rob you of the energy required for these tasks.
Does this mean that you should never sleep in, go on Facebook, or hang out with your friends? Not necessarily.
Each person has a unique routine for dealing with required tasks, and may find that certain things don’t inhibit their ability to do so.
At the same time, sticking to a rigid set of rules only creates more stress, rather than alleviating it.
Keeping up with the demands of life and still allowing yourself time for the things you love is, above all, about finding balance.