- Working too hard: If you’re spending hours bent over a textbook every night, writing 10 drafts of that essay, or taking AP classes in subjects you’re not even interested in, you’re setting yourself up for burnout. It’s great to be dedicated to your studies, but not to the point that it interferes with your health, relationships, or sanity! And hey, perfectionists: it’s okay to get a B every now and then!
- Playing too hard: High school is fun. Parties can be thrilling. But if you’ve got a splitting headache the next morning, it’s causing tension with your parents, and your academics are suffering, it’s not worth it. We all know it: alcohol slows your reaction time, messes with your short and long term memory, and impairs your judgment. The key is to balance school and social life and to avoid putting yourself at risk.
Overbooking yourself: Yes, it’s good to be a well-rounded person, to say “yes” to new opportunities and to dive into what you’re passionate about. Colleges like it! Still, you need to be careful not to take on more than you can handle.
Not getting involved: On the other hand, it’s best to avoid that awful moment when you’re filling out the common app and realize you hardly did anything in the last four years. If you have nothing to do after school, it might be a good idea to join an acapella group, take a martial art class or volunteer in your community. It’s okay to only do a few activities if you’re really dedicated to them; things like playing a musical instrument and playing varsity sport require a lot of time and energy.
Stressing out when you don’t need to: Don’t go overboard with the worries. Avoiding sins 1-3 will help you stay away from constant anxiety, but when you find yourself freaking out about that test you have tomorrow or your giant to do list, take a deep breath. You’ve got this. And if you really need it, take a mental health day.
Getting senioritis months (or years) early: Try not to throw in the towel too soon. You’ve gotta push through. Then you’ll have all summer to recover: limitless lazing on the couch binge-watching Gossip Girl, tons of adventures with friends, and total avoidance of mathematics.
Losing touch with your family: It’s easy to get so caught up in your schoolwork and activities and friends that you barely see your fam. But make time for them, even if it’s only a little. Eat dinner together, go to your brother’s soccer game, get coffee with your mom, call your grandma every now and then.