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If only we had some free time…

If only we had some free time...

I often hear my peers say that they have no time to eat, sleep, or do anything because they have so much homework. And honestly, most days, I am one of these kids. As someone who plays two sports and takes multiple AP classes, I know the feeling of being overwhelmed. I know the sleepless nights and the stress of studying those vocabulary words in study hall the block before the quiz. I consider myself pretty good at dealing with all these stressors, but there’s one thing that I know I’m not very good at and that’s managing the small amount of free time I have.

Let me tell you a story:

My little brother is in eighth grade at Lunsford Middle School. Like I once did, he takes all honors classes and will probably follow my footsteps in high school, taking on multiple difficult classes alongside a sport or two and a few clubs. But he’s learned to do one thing much more efficiently than I have: managing his free time. Over the summer, he decided he wanted to learn how to juggle. Whenever he would get home from practice, he would sit down on the couch, watch a 13-minute video on how to juggle and then practice what he learned for a few minutes. He spent a maximum of 30 minutes a day learning, but within a week, he was juggling with ease.

Now I know what you’re thinking. What does my brother learning a new skill have to do with juggling school and life in a super competitive school area? The use of free time can be examined in both situations. It took an eighth-grader seven days to master juggling. If we used the 30 minutes we had in the car between practices or the 20 minutes before school doing work or doing exercises to preserve our mental health, it could benefit us in major ways. So my challenge to everyone, including myself, is to be mindful of our free time. On the weekends when you wake up and want to sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day, ask yourself: Is there something I could be doing right now that would help me in the future?

Now I’m not saying give up your Netflix because we all need to chill out sometimes. I’m just saying, we have the ability to work just a little bit extra on easy days in order to build up some of that precious “free time” that we seek.

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