Dear writers, how can I manage all my activities? I do multiple sports and extracurricular activities, but I’m having a hard time managing everything while keeping good grades. 

Dear Overstressed reader, 

Managing various activities in high school can be very difficult and stressful, but it can become manageable if you take certain steps to self-manage. Before I get into these, we would first like to share an important quote. 

“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”  - Anonymous

This quote sums up the first and most important step in finding balance when doing various things: understanding when you’ve lost the ability to balance all the things you're doing. This is important because you can’t start to find balance until you understand what you're struggling with and why. After that, you just need to follow these tips to succeed. 

First of all, you MUST understand that you don’t have to do everything. It may appear that participating in a bunch of extracurricular activities will look good on your college applications, but it's better to have a few extracurriculars and good grades rather than a lot of extracurriculars and bad grades. Additionally, it is important to do things that you are actually interested in. There is no point in doing a bunch of extracurriculars that you have absolutely no interest in. Think about everything you're doing and decide what's most important to you. Consider making a list of those things. Then, stick with the few things you actually enjoy and try to be more involved with those activities. 

The second tip we would recommend is to always remember you're a student first and foremost. Kids who do sports in high school are called student athletes for a reason. Grades should always be your first priority and if you feel that your sport is severely affecting your grades, it may be time to consider quitting. Lastly, if, after reasonable consideration, you do want to stay in your sport/extracurricular activity, yet feel as though you are struggling with balance, talk to your coach or club advisor about this. Explain to your coach or club advisor your situation and try to figure out what to do next. This can help you a lot by making you feel less stressed trying to manage things on your own. Additionally, getting an outside perspective on your unique situation could help you to come to a conclusion you would have never realized before. 

To conclude, it is important to find balance between your life and school by participating in activities that you enjoy and focusing on your grades. It is also important to always seek outside help if you need it.