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  • Avril Rodriguez

Getting Back Up After Taking A Stumble

These past few weeks have been stressful. I have only been in school for eight weeks and stumbled. Not physically - I didn't fall down the stairs. Mentally, I've stumbled.

I've taken the heavy coursework approach to my senior year, and along with my extracurriculars, the twenty-four hours of the day seem short. Late nights studying and early mornings attending school. The cycle I believed I had broken in the summer has restarted, and it's time to fix it.

We've all been there. At first, we believe everything is working out smoothly, and then, gradually, we begin to lose control of our circumstances and the changes that coincide with them.

If you feel you are struggling alongside me with procrastination and tight deadlines, here is my step-by-step guide to picking myself back up:

1. Assess How You Are Spending Your Time

Start by analyzing your day. How much time do you spend on schoolwork after school? Are there extracurricular activities that take up your time? Are you involved in a sport that prohibits you from completing your schoolwork on time? Assess which activities take priority and decide how much time you will dedicate to each weekly activity.

Here's a sneak peek into what my recent study spiral has looked like:

For me, I do not realize how often I go to "quickly" check my phone and social media. It may be in five-minute intervals while doing my homework, but I make those phone breaks every five minutes. A long night of hard work and a heavy course load is a reality check to how often I am on my phone.


Here are some articles on reducing screen time and boosting productivity:


2. Set Your Priorities

When everything feels like it's falling out of place, realizing your priorities is essential. Currently, I have yet to perform my best in my Physics class. The difficulty of the class makes me reluctant to complete the homework for that class compared to my other, more accessible classes. Why is it that whenever a class is challenging, it is so much harder to focus on completing the homework than a relatively easy class? I'll never know, but you must rid yourself of the most annoying and tedious homework first so you don't leave it for last-minute procrastination.

Focus and work hardest on the classes you are struggling the most with while manning a healthy balance with the classes you are performing well in

3. Make Productive Time for Yourself

This sentence might be confusing you. How do I make my resting time productive? There are two ways to go about doing things for yourself.

  1. Laying on the couch and watching TikTok for hours on end

  • Although this is something you can do periodically, there are better ways to reenergize yourself when you have a lot of ongoing stress.

Taking time for myself is doing things that don't require much energy but will still help me relieve stress and get me ready for the next day. My relaxing hobbies include reading, journaling, meditating, and playing guitar. These hobbies help me stay relaxed while enhancing my knowledge.

4. Seek Advice From Friends and Family

If you feel that school is becoming overbearing or life is becoming tiring, reach out to a close friend or family member who can listen to you and offer advice and affirmations to help comfort your stress, anxiety, or sadness.

two friends chilling and having fun

While seeking advice from those close to you, it is crucial to make sure you are confiding in the right people, as some "friends" may be the ones that are making you feel drained.


Hopefully these tips are helping you as much as they are helping me! Remember that taking care of your mental and physical health should always be your #1 priority.

Until next time,



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