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Toryn Triplitt shares struggle with balancing workload, managing stress

Paige Provost

Students can begin to feel overwhelmed about school when they have too much on their plate.

In my third year of high school, I have learned a lot about my priorities from just the past two years alone. At the beginning of freshmen year, I was barrel racing and riding horses full time, played volleyball, and was taking all academic classes.

Sophomore year I joined The Feather while I continued to barrel race, play volleyball and enroll in more difficult academic classes. I began to feel overwhelmed the second week of school. It came to a point where there was just too much on my plate.

At first I was in denial, already falling behind the first month of school. I wasn’t getting home till 8 p.m. every night as I was going right from volleyball practice to riding.

It took both my parents discovering that I was still doing homework past 11 p.m. every night for them to finally put their foot down and demand that I cut something out to free up my time.

I could not stop barrel racing or riding, because I had to care for the horse I owned. Also, I discovered at a very young age that riding was my passion and was always a constant source of peace and happiness for me. So that was a not an option.

My parents and I deemed it a bad idea for me to drop a course for a study hall, due to my high aspirations for college. I needed every GPA point I could get. We decided I needed to stick with The Feather, as I had just joined the program and had a lot more to learn about writing.

So that left one thing, volleyball. That summer the team had started training with Kit Maddox as our new coach, and I was really looking forward to the new season. But with all other factors in mind, giving up the sport made the most sense.

Assignments and deadlines can cause anxiety and stress in students.

I still play for fun and do miss the team camaraderie, but looking back, it was the best choice I could have made in that situation. It is a very bittersweet memory, as it was the last team sport I was able to partake in, due to giving up soccer freshmen year because of the same issue.

It’s a problem teens encounter all the time, having too much on their plate and not enough time to do it all. And while being busy is not a bad thing, being too busy can be quite harmful. There are plenty of side effects to having way too much on your plate. Two of the most harmful ones are lack of sleep and stress.

Sleep is detrimental for your health and stress has been proven to make it more difficult to get a good nights rest. There are many unhealthy side effects, such as lack of sleep. Healthline gives us examples of these side effects and how they affect your body.

Some of these include memory issues, high blood pressure, weak immunity, lack of balance and depression. Psych Central encourages a regular sleep schedule and to try to slow down your thoughts before sleep in order to get the best and most sleep possible.

Stress is another predictable side effect of being overwhelmed or having too much on your plate. Stress can also be very unhealthy leading to; headaches, chronic pain, digestive problems, and increased heart rate. Another side effect is insomnia or lack of sleep.

In the following podcast, Toryn Triplitt interviews Spanish teach Rachel Rodriguez about learning how to prioritize.

In order to avoid becoming sick, or just overwhelmed, everyone has to learn to prioritize. What things can you give up, or do a different day? For me, learning to prioritize is something that I’m still not the best at, as I still attempt to fit too much on my plate. Prioritizing assignments that have a closer deadline, over assignments that you have said a month to complete is one easy way to reduce stress over due dates.

You can set times for yourself, allotting yourself a certain amount of time an evening to work on one assignment, and when time runs out you work on something else. Making steps towards getting better at prioritizing my assignments and what needs to get done has really made my workload and extracurriculars easier to juggle.

Learning to stay on top of your workload, and being able to realize when you have too much on your plate is very important. Not only for your health but just in general. You should have time to relax and restore, both mentally and physically. So, give yourself a break sometimes and go do something fun!

For more columns read, COLUMN: Morgan Parker shares perspective on happiness and COLUMN: Spend time with loved ones this holiday season.

This author can be reached via Twitter and via email.

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