Anyone who has been a junior or heard one listing her grievances in the hall knows that 11th grade is not a walk in the park. This is not to say that younger grades have it easy, but in my experience, junior year has been the first time that school has sometimes felt truly unmanageable.
It is natural in the progression of difficulty for this year to be a doozy, but I’ve found that because of the increased workload, I need to spend a lot more time on assignments and when I leave things unfinished to hang out with friends or binge on ice cream and Netflix, I can’t help but feel guilty and ashamed of my neglected homework.
The purpose of increased workloads and stress levels is to teach us how to balance our work with our personal time, not to force us to work constantly. We’re supposed to learn how to work efficiently so that when we enjoy free time, our assignments are already done, but we’re still figuring that out. We cannot focus on our studies all the time, and we need to accept this instead of feeling guilty for spending time with other teenagers instead of our textbooks.
No one can exemplify the perfect Marlborough girl all the time, and that is okay. This applies to school work and other expectations. For example:
Did you just consume that entire bag of watermelon Sour Patch when you told yourself you would eat better? It happens! Are you feeling guilty about watching a season of Friends instead of studying for your AP World test? You can start tomorrow! Did you just spend way too much money online shopping with your parents’ credit card? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The bottom line: it’s okay to falter sometimes. We are all working hard to function in a very stressful environment on top of being chaotic teenagers, and we cannot expect ourselves to be able to work all the time. I find that reprimanding myself for enjoying free time is discouraging and causes me to feel less confident about my ability to avoid procrastination. Being easier on myself has allowed me to keep calm and feel encouraged to get work done early in the future.
So, relax! It is important to work hard, but we cannot spend our entire six years at Marlborough locked in our room with only John Green crash course videos for comfort. Have some fun and let yourself off the hook for it instead of feeling guilty all the time. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable with yourself, and you might even avoid an ulcer or two. In the words of the wickedly talented Adel Dazeem, “let it go.”