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LGHS Students Explain How They Maintain a School-Life Balance

by Sonali Muthukrishnan

National/World Editor

Senior Sasha Prostota maintains school-life balance by FaceTiming with friends. Prostota stated, “I think I’ve actually gotten a lot closer with some of my friends over quarantine.” Along with these biweekly meetings, Prostota has experimented with new creative outlets such as coloring, helping her occupy her time and “help [her] min rest a little.” Reflecting on remote learning, Prostota explained, “I’d say the thing that motivates me the most in online school is that I know my time is completely in my own hands.” She tries to delegate her time to allow herself to spend more time doing the things she loves: hanging out with family and destressing. Prostota shared that she still struggles to maintain a balance between school and home life. She expressed, “Sometimes I don’t leave my room the whole day. There isn’t anything that forces me to stop working.” She misses the small in-class moments that do not translate over Zoom but used to be her favorite part of school.

Junior Alisha Kalley struggles to maintain self-discipline and retain information during online learning. Kalley explained, “I’m an interactive learner, and the online format, at least personally, doesn’t live up to the same ease of interaction as an in-person learning.” The junior has increased the amount of studying and discussions she has with her classmates to combat remote learning’s increased difficulty. To find balance, Kalley relies on reading, music, and FaceTiming with friends. She also uses the Pomodoro break technique – 25 minutes of work followed by a five-minute break – to prevent burnout. Kalley has had difficulty finding motivation. She shared, “When it gets tough to find the motivation to study or complete work, reminding myself of my aspirations and the unavoidable challenges along the way helps me find some motivation to start. Kalley also keeps posters and pictures of people and items that inspire her on her desk.

LGHS Junior Marissa Hein tries to stay optimistic during remote learning. To stay motivated and get her work finished, Hein focuses on the best part of her day, getting to take her dog on walks. Sharing about her online learning experience, Hein explained, “the part of online learning I struggle with most of the lack of social connection with my peers and teachers.” The Junior attempts to maintain a school-life balance by playing games like Among Us and Minecraft, FaceTiming her best friends, and spending time with her family.

 

Justin Virk, a Junior at LGHS, tries to maintain his school-life balance by setting allotted times for himself to exercise, talk to friends, and exercise. Virk explained, “I feel like there is no one formula for how to balance school and the rest of my life, so I have to constantly tweak it all the time.” Overall, Virk’s most significant struggle during online learning is not getting to see his friends every day and getting to interact with them. He stated, “I feel like [those little interactions are] something I will appreciate much more once online learning is over.” Virk stays motivated by keeping in mind what he is fighting for. He elaborated, saying, “I try to remember…how I shouldn’t let a temporary phase in my life affect my academic career in the future.” Virk also tries to go outside as often as possible to help him maintain his motivated mindset.

Sophomore Julie Chen keeps herself motivated during remote learning by setting herself short term goals. She explained, “Because it is so much harder to stay focused in class and outside of class, I have started creating small goals for myself in order to get everything done.” The sooner she can finish her school work, the sooner she can achieve her goal. To maintain a healthy school-life balance, Chen makes a mental schedule of what she needs to do. This system is useful for her because “school no longer completely takes over my personal time, and I don’t have to feel overly stressed anymore.” For Chen, the most challenging part of sophomore year is staying motivated. She stated, “I have so many more distractions around me now that I’m learning from home, and it is so much easier for me to get sidetracked because I am no longer in a desired school environment.” Chen misses interacting with her friends in person, and she feels that getting help with school work is much more difficult due to online learning.

LGHS Junior Hailey Anderson is struggling with motivation and burn-out. She stated, “online school is pretty hard and keeping grades up during finals is so hard it makes me feel like I want to sleep all day and just skip all my classes.” Whenever she begins to get into a negative mindset, Anderson tries to go outside or go on a short drive, giving herself a break to clear her head. The junior motivates herself to do work after school by getting some exercise and then buckling down. To keep her spirits up, Anderson, the president of the Cutback Cleanups – Club at LGHS, hosts beach cleanups. She explained, “[beach cleanups] always make me super happy because I love helping the environment.”

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