From time to time, we all get a little overwhelmed trying to keep all the plates spinning. That’s a circus analogy for having many things going on… But what should you do when you feeling jawed day in and day out?
Start letting the small plates drop!
However, be careful not to just drop any old random plate. You must prioritize the plates. Unfortunately, I see too many stressed out students dropping the “academic” plate. That’s the wrong plate.
In their quest to be “well-rounded,” students join clubs, play sports, run for class office, etc. Because these activities are more “fun” that academics, the academic plate is too often left to shatter on the ground.
News flash… if you’re grades suck, no college or employer will care how many touchdowns you scored or which activities you list on your application. Wow, Junior may not know the times tables, but did you see he lettered in three sports!?
Unless you’re going pro, or it’s paying your way through post-secondary education, only the “High School Harry’s” out there remember anything about high school sports. Unless you’re exceptional, your abilities will be forgotten the day your sports ends. And even then, people just remember that the exceptional athlete was good at [fill in the blank].
School enrollment is about learning and mastery of content that will serve you later in life. If you’re experiencing chronic stress, let one of the other plates drop. The last one you want to drop is the academic plate.
So if you feel anxious about all you “have to” do, remember that schooling is really the only “have to.”
You don’t “have to” be the class treasurer. You don’t “have to” play the flute. You don’t “have to” do a sport. You don’t “have to” add to your snap story.
In conjunction with a good transcript, these things may help differentiate you from other good applicants. Coupled with low grades, it’s not so impressive.
So if you’re frazzled, focus on what’s important. To quote Tim Ferriss, “If you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities.” So eliminate an activity. You’ll likely feel less stress, and you’ll have more time to get your grades on the rise.