Work-life balance for student workaholics


Photo by Aryanna Martinez

Many students feel the pressure to constantly have meet the expectations of their teachers, coaches, family and themselves.

Once students are dismissed from a long day at school, many find themselves rushing to take care of other priorities. Whether they’re going to work, sports practice, babysitting, back home to do more schoolwork, responsibilities vary from student to student. While juggling all of these tasks may be difficult, managing day to day life may be easier when implementing “work-life balance.”
Work-life balance is the idea of balancing work and life. In this idea, work is conceptualized as a job, school or other important tasks. Life is thought of as what one does outside of work, typically for leisure and enjoyment. The idea is different from person to person, with some enjoying a complete fifty-fifty and others considering work and life the same thing.
“Work should be something that you enjoy which I mean, you want to enjoy life so I’d rather have work and life be the exact same thing instead of two different things. If you’re going to work for something it should be something you enjoy and afford to do,” said senior Sam Taylor, member of track and field and corner for varsity football.
With productivity and success often being a pressure for students, it may be easy to feel overwhelmed. According to Healthline, signs of stress include less energy, disrupted sleep, headaches, increase in weight and acne.
When overly exposed to stress, some may find themselves experiencing burnout. Burnout is a state of overall exhaustion beyond typical fatigue. Being burnt out can be damaging on a mental, physical and emotional level; burnout leaves those experiencing it less productive, irritable, depressed, ill and viewing life negatively.
“Burn out [is a concern for overworked students]. I believe in studying hard and doing your best in work/school. However, students are not just their grades, they are so much more! It’s great to prepare for the future but you also have to remember that you are living life right now,” said Kathleen Goldstein, school counselor.
With many students constantly having to meet the expectations of their teachers, coaches, family and themselves, it may be hard to limit working or find free time. According to Mental Health America, setting achievable goals, taking breaks and taking overall care of oneself are important in having a well-rounded lifestyle. While they may seem counterintuitive, taking steps like these can help maintain productivity and positive mood in and out of work.
“Make sure you’re always taking care of yourself in a way you know how, whatever that looks like. If that means that you need to wake up a little bit earlier in the morning to do some yoga or listen to calming music, if it means putting out your clothes the night before so you’re not so stressed out in the morning, find little ways to take care of yourself,” said school social worker Bina Gold.
Finding a personalized proper balance for oneself may be challenging. Mission Hills’s guidance center located towards the front of the school can offer support for struggling students. Other resources like Mental Health America’s stress screener can help identify the level of stress one may be experiencing and the Crisis Text Line can relieve those facing emotional hardships.