Stop and Look Around

Hannah - Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I’m running on the treadmill and doing the best I can with the high speed I have set, but I always seem to be falling off the back. Whether it’s being fifteen minutes late wherever I go or finishing tests five minutes after the bell has rung, I am constantly fighting to catch up. Each night I roll my alarm clock back 15 minutes, hoping to gain the extra minutes I know I will lose throughout the day. But morning comes and the struggle begins. Hitting snooze buttons on three different alarm clocks hidden throughout my room, I still find myself falling back into bed until I reach a point of panic, in which I run to the shower and out the door in time to get the last parking space at school. Entering school with two minutes to go, I walk into first hour and attempt to collect myself before learning the laws of vortexes and quadrant trigonometry.

However in my case, being a step behind is not due to procrastination. In fact, I make a habit of scheduling time to work on large assignments gradually and rarely find myself cramming the night before a due date or test. While others derive their stress from procrastination, I derive my stress from a desire to be one step ahead—or at least at a point where I can fall asleep with everything done for the day. But with only 24 hours in a day, being a step ahead is virtually impossible. Instead I force myself to stop working at midnight after a long day of school, sports, working, and homework. I am rarely finished with all my homework when I crash at midnight, but I console myself by telling myself that I will multitask during my less intense classes the next day. And so I begin another day with a to-do list and a plan to achieve success without a mental breakdown.

It’s this struggle to find a balance that is preparing me for a lifetime of unexpected turns and adventures. High school is the time to learn the value of compromise and prioritizing. While I give my best effort in school, I don’t let it consume me. If spending time with my family and friends, being involved in church and sports, and taking time to enjoy life means I earn an A instead of an A+, I am okay with that. As the great Ferris Bueller once said, “Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.