A Back to School Post is Kind of Obligatory, Isn’t It?

As the title of this post indicates, I start school again this week.
As far as I can tell, I think it is going to be a bit of a strange experience.

For one thing, I’ll be an upperclassman.

For another, I will not be participating in any fall sports. I’m going to miss my enormous, sprawling, wonderful cross country team, but I’ve been running anywhere from 6-15 miles in a run lately, and it just didn’t make sense to keep competing 5ks anymore.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t be busy—I will still be working for the High Museum of Art, and I will be a Writing Fellow throughout the year. I wrote another novel, I’m working on editing that and also working on some other new pieces, and I’m also taking mostly AP classes.

Which basically just means that I’ll be slightly less busy than I was last year. I’ll be doing almost as much work, but this time I get to sleep, too.

When I was first applying to high schools, I asked about the ability to participate in multiple extracurriculars. The girl I was talking to laughed and said, “You can do sports, you can be good at school, and you can sleep. Take any two of the three, because there’s no way anyone can manage all of them together.”

I laughed, too, because I thought she was joking.

Turns out… she was right.

Last year, I was doing sixteen extracurricular activities. On top of an all-honors/AP class schedule. And it was a bad, bad move, because it meant that I was operating on about five hours of sleep per night.

I was more or less nonfunctional, and I was going through hell every day just to get to class on time. I felt apathetic about a lot of opportunities I should have been really excited about, because it just felt like more of my time was being sucked up into activities that I didn’t really know how much I cared about.

It took me literally the entire summer to get my head into a place where I felt good about coming back to school.

But I’m in that place. I’m really excited to go back.

Because now? I’ve dropped enough activities and programs and clubs that I think I will be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the opportunities and options that my school affords me. I will be able to put my full effort and energy behind things. I went through what I did, and I really do believe that I have grown from that experience, gotten more organized and more strategic about my time allocation.
Everyone says that junior year is the one that matters, and I am ready to make it count.


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