Originally Published in the November 2013 Issue 2 of "The Mainsheet"
It is 2 in the morning. You feel like you are going to explode. While tearing through your kitchen scavenging for food that will miraculous keep you awake another hour, so that you can finish that final conclusion paragraph of a horrible essay from hell or complete the problem set homework you have put off for a few days, a week, let’s be honest here, an entire unit, you can’t escape the doom of a sleepless night, a rock bottom night.
It’s a scary feeling. You have pushed yourself to the point of exhaustion both physically and mentally. If you haven’t hit this point yet, I can almost guarantee you that at some point in your Chadwick career, you will have one of these dreaded nights. Now, let’s backtrack and see how we got here.
Chadwick Students and teenagers have an ENORMOUS amount of pressure all the time. We are students, athletes, performers, artists, role models, and human beings. I’m emphasizing the last part: human beings. We aren’t perfect or superheroes. We are constantly overbooked and overworked.
“And we can’t stop. We won’t stop.” Miley Cyrus actually hit the nail on the head or the (wrecking) ball on the chain with that lyric. How can we stop? We want to go to a great college, get a good job, and we want to have a life! We want to live! We want to enjoy high school! How do we do this?
I am no expert on time management. The last few years I have procrastinated, overbooked myself, and had way too many sleepless nights, but that’s going to change. Well, I am at least going to try and make it better.
I really believe that most Chadwick Students can do it all. We can find balance, do what we want to do, and still have fun. There will be sacrifice, yes, but we don’t have to choose the present over the future, or the future over the present.
I have found the root of almost all of my school problems is sleep. Yes, sleep. Everyone is always going on and on about how important sleep is, but I am not kidding. Sleep is super important. Now, teenagers are supposed to get 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night. Unless you are a time management guru (and maybe we can get there?), you are not going to get that much sleep going to Chadwick. But let’s aim for 8.
When you get more sleep, you not only feel better and get think more clearly, but you look better too! Sleep makes everything better. We will do better on tests, stress levels are reduced, you will eat less, and you will look like a wrinkleless angel sent from heaven without bags under your eyes.
The next step to doing it all is turning off the Facebook. Yes, I called it the Facebook. The Facebook is the worst sort of evil for a Chadwick student. It sucks your time away without you even knowing it. Graph Search has marked the end of human civilization. You can stalk people with ease 24/7. If we are trying to balance short-term interests with long terms goals, the Facebook isn’t having fun or interacting with your friends. The Facebook is a peephole into the lives of your peers, and while it is interesting and oh so addicting, it is adding nothing to our lives. Instead of going on the Facebook for an hour, or two, or three, we could spend that time cranking out our work, getting it done, checking the Facebook for a timed short break, and then heading to bed. We have to get off the Facebook. We will be stronger for it.
Lastly, we need to learn the proper way to rant and get over things. With so much pressure, there are bound to be disappointments. I feel like I have come up with a great plan to get rid of pent up aggression (my friends know I love my 5 step plans). It doesn’t work for everyone, but it might work for you.
1) Turn on some ranting music. Think “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette, Jump around, look ridiculous, and scream your head off. You will be surprised with how much better you feel afterwards.
2) Get out a piece of paper and write down 3 things that you really like about yourself. Three genuine things that you love about yourself. Maybe you really like your music taste, manners, or work ethic. Remind yourself why you are special.
3) If you are ranting about a person, make a pro and con list about all of their good and bad qualities. Tear it up, maybe ask a bestie for a second look, but get rid of that thing. Be satisfied knowing that you “Chadwick style” tried to evaluate that list and have tried to get some sense of how you are feeling. Call a really trusted friend to talk through the list if you are really struggling.
4) Go exercise. It’s straight up annoying, but you look and feel so much better afterwards. Endorphins, baby, endorphins!
5) Finally, turn on some more Alanis, scream a little bit more, and simmer down.
So, we can do it all. We just have to believe in ourselves. We just need to sleep a little more, procrastinate a little less, and get out our frustration and aggression in a healthy way. We got this, Chadwick!
Photo Courtesy of http://vimeo.com/72197431