From the inside: Thinking about life balance


Few things are harder than getting back into school and extracurricular activities after having a long, satisfactory break. However, sooner or later, one always has to head back to school, work, practice, rehearsal and planning for meetings. Coming back from break and helping out with the SGA’s recent presentation on the importance of connecting with others face-to-face got me thinking about the importance of having a healthy dose of relaxation even during the busiest times.

If you ask anyone in the hallway how they’re doing, you’ll probably hear exclamations of how stressed they are, worried for the next test or how excited they are for an upcoming event. Being in high school is crazy. The never ending stream of math problems to solve, essays to write and tests to study for can be overwhelming. A high schooler can also easily feel the pressures of being involved in clubs, whether it be planning for events, meetings or sorting out paperwork.

The SGA’s presentation really resonated with me. I’ll admit, I’m a bit more disconnected social media wise than most, so I have an easier time putting aside my phone. But, while I was presenting, I realized how often I am attached to my phone or distracted by a mental to-do list instead of being in the moment. I know it sounds cliché, but especially during busy times, it’s important to find the time to relax, unwind and bond with family and friends.

This past break was a great example of how a few solid days of pure relaxation can do wonders. Before winter break, I felt really worn out and a bit brain dead. I had no idea the three weeks from Thanksgiving to break would be so trying. During the break I left my backpack with all my schoolwork in the corner, and focused on having a good time and recharging for the New Year. I watched Coco and The Greatest Showman, which I had wanted to see for a while and also had a throwback watching Ella Enchanted and Tangled with my sister who was also back home on break.

I also discovered a web series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and Pride and Prejudice, which I binge-watched. It felt so good being able to have the time to just sit there and enjoy the well-done modern characterizations. If you’re an Austen fan, I strongly recommend looking into the two series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved on YouTube. The story is told in five minute clips as vlogs, so if you need a break from studying calculus or writing that Shakespeare essay, but don’t want to procrastinate too long, these videos are great. Also, fun fact: author and Crash Course host John Green’s brother, Hank Green, produced both of them.

Finally, what is winter break without some quality family time? This break my family and I took a mini trip to Williamsburg and Busch Gardens in Virginia, to see the award winning Christmas decorations and lightings at the locations respectively.

Fahrenheit all three days, we had a great time. The fresh air also did me some good. It was a nice change from being stuck indoors at school all day. We also checked out the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. We’re super nerdy, I know. It was a great review of that APUSH knowledge, nonetheless.

Taking time off from schoolwork and extracurriculars to unwind individually, and with family was refreshing. Although I won’t have as much time to relax now that I’m back to school, my goal is to be mindful of taking breaks; to free myself mentally from thinking about what needs to be done or about upcoming tests and connect with others throughout the school day. I hope that we can all find individual and collective ways to unwind as needed, even during busy times and support each other as we start 2018.

Rachel Wei