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Balancing Academics, Extracurriculars & Your College Search

While it can be difficult to manage your time as an involved student, it is an important task that can greatly affect your success in high school.

Brady Keane

September 03, 2014

Balancing Academics, Extracurriculars & Your College Search
As high school students, there are very few of us that are not involved in at least one way, either in the community, at the high school, or both. Throughout my high school career, I've been involved with several clubs, organizations, sports, and other extracurricular activities on top of my school work and the search for colleges. Although it is important to get involved in as many activities as you can, not only to maximize your high school experience but also to stand out from the crowd, balancing all of these activities is undoubtedly one of the toughest challenges you’ll face as a young adult.

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While it can be difficult to manage your time as an involved student, it is an important task that can greatly affect your success in high school. Here are some things to remember when trying to balance your time:

1. Never let your school work suffer

As cliché as it might sound, your grades are the most important thing in high school. Your grade point average, class rank, and test scores can make all the difference in your search for scholarships and colleges.

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2. Make a schedule

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I've always found that dividing up the rest of my time was easiest with a written out schedule. Meet with your coaches, club sponsors, and class sponsors to figure out what the best way to split up your time is. You will avoid a lot of stress when things are planned out.

3. Start your college search early

Procrastination can turn out bad enough when you’re talking about school work, but when you push off applying for colleges and finding the best one for you, senior year can become a jam packed, stressful time. Start looking for colleges and scholarships as early as possible, and take a look at the entrance requirements for each school so that you know where you stand.

4. Don’t get too involved

As I mentioned before, it is extremely important to maximize your high school experience through extra-curricular activities. I've made most of my friends through sports and other clubs, and the extra stuff is what makes school fun. However, it is easy to get too involved. Never take on too many leadership positions, because eventually you’ll overreach yourself and find it hard to fulfill all of the obligations for each group.

5. Take advantage of school time

Often times, teachers will give you time to get homework done during class. The majority of students will abuse this time, but if you’re trying to balance your time after school, this short period of time can be invaluable to your cause. The teacher is right there to help if you have questions, and the more homework you can finish in school, the less you have to do out of school. Balancing academics, extracurricular activities, and your search for the right college is undoubtedly going to be a struggle in high school. However, if you follow these simple steps, you’re sure to avoid at least a few crazy late nights throughout your high school career.

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