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Managing my time

In high school, many students have extracurricular activities along with difficult courses, so achieving a balance between them can be difficult.

Emily Zheng

<Editor’s Note: blogger Emily Zheng is a freshman at Arcadia High School.>

This school year, I’ve learned a lot about how to efficiently manage my time between academics and extracurricular activities. With two Honors classes along with four other classes, in addition to being part of Speech & Debate and Junior Varsity Tennis, I usually have a lot on my plate, but it wasn’t that hard after I learned how to manage my time wisely.

Last semester, I had four A’s and two A+’s and currently I have four A+’s and two A’s. For clubs in Arcadia High, I am President of Arcadia Young Democrats of America, and am a member in French Club, Chemistry Club, and Amnesty International. Some of the activities I do outside of school include volunteering for Measure A, teaching in Fun Flute Club, and blogging for this website, Arcadia’s Best. I am also part of Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra and participated in many flute competitions.

My agenda

How do I balance my academics and extracurricular activities? First of all, I use my agenda daily. I use it to record homework, to remind myself about tests, and to remind myself about after-school activities. I also have a whiteboard at home which helps me organize all my activities outside of school. For homework, I always do the assignments that are due the next day first. I finish homework from the same subject at once and take a short break (five to ten minutes) afterwards. Sometimes, when I do not have time to finish everything, I make a list of commitments to do the next day. I always study for tests, though, so I always plan studying into my schedule.

Since I usually go to sleep around 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., I start homework right when I get home. I limit my television time to 30 minutes a day or less to watch the news. I still bowl, ice skate, and watch movies with my friends, but only during summer, spring, and winter breaks.

Every week, I limit my volunteering to three times a week during regular school weeks. Sometimes, I may have other extracurricular commitments, but when I have a lot of homework or tests to prepare for, I always pick school first. I really enjoy volunteering and spend most of my free time doing so, but school is my main priority.

Even though some of what I do may not fit your learning type, try finding what works best for you. I hope some of what I’ve done might help you balance your schedule!

— By Emily Zheng

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