High school can be an intense and challenging period of time in life. As a 2021 Albert College graduate, I’ve had some time to look back on my four years of balancing athletics and academics, self-discovery, post-secondary stress, and above all, placing so much pressure on myself to achieve the highest grades possible that it was sometimes suffocating.
This year I found myself really struggling with my mental health. I was placing unrealistic standards on myself in school that made me feel as though I was constantly failing, and it seemed as if my entire life revolved around studying and homework. Looking back, I now realize how dangerous and unhealthy my behaviour was; I had been prioritizing a grade on a test over my own well-being, sacrificing my happiness in return for percentages on a report card.
Don’t get me wrong, performing well in school is important, and can prove beneficial in becoming successful later in life. However, I’ve found that it is all about finding a balance between maintaining mental wellness and academic prosperity.
My advice for any high school or post-secondary student would be to put our lives into perspective. Academics are only a small part of what the world has to offer, and it doesn’t define who we are as a person. So, study for that test, finish all your homework, and get any extra help you need; but remember to experience new things, find what makes you happy, and do what makes you enjoy life. Academic success is one of many achievements that can be found in this world, so don’t forget to find others out there waiting for you.