Balance Fun with Future Focus

Every year I always make a checklist for myself, focusing on what I want to accomplish academically, socially, and athletically that year. I believe it has helped me to focus on what is important and what things take priority in my life. Sadly, I have realized in recent weeks that my academics took precedence over a lot of other options in high school. Therefore, my advice to high school students regardless of their grade is to find a balance between fun and seriousness in their lives in order to get the most enjoyment and the best education out of their high school years.

Even though teachers and other authority figures preach how important and essential the days of high school are, those precious weeks during the school year are still laced with free time a student can never enjoy again. This time can be filled with countless activities. You have to determine what is fun for yourself. As long as it is within legal bounds, I encourage you to pursue whatever it is you find enjoyable. The ones that follow are just some that I thought of.

Fun with family, the perks of parties
You could spend some time with family on the weeknights when homework loads are light. Or, if I dare say it, attend school events with friends during the week and parties on the weekend. What is extraordinary about parties is that you can go new places and meet new people all within your own town. Who knows, maybe even one of the connections you make at a party leads to a business venture 10 years down the road. Moments like those demonstrate how fun exploits in high school can lead to serious endeavors.

With all this “fun” taking place, high school is also an important time to build a solid foundation for a better tomorrow. The top priority for a high school student of any grade should be school work, as no employer or college can discredit good grades and a diploma. Furthermore, students underestimate the power of community service. This activity serves as an excellent resume builder for college, and if you’re not planning on going to college, community service fulfills a two-fold purpose.

First, employers may value their community, and a young adult who demonstrates similar values has a much better chance of getting hired. Service can also provide a connection to a future employer. Some places that organize community service for students may have paid positions for graduates. If you show a true passion for the work at a facility, then who knows what could happen.

Community service can be fun
Everyone is passionate about something. For example, you might get together to play some pickup basketball games after school. Maybe you can transition from the court to the sideline and coach elementary teams. Or maybe you enjoy painting or other arts and crafts. You could utilize this talent in elderly living communities, acting as a therapeutic outlet for those who live there, or you could use that talent in day care. Even though community service can be taxing, it can be just as fun as any of your other activities.

Having fun and beginning a future are the two most important tasks high school students should focus on. Some people have said it is difficult to achieve both at the same time, but I believe that a yearly checklist and/or goals list provides the organization necessary to make that dream a reality. The checklist gave me a good starting point for navigating my high school years. Hopefully, you can use it to your advantage to do the same -- and more.


Jordan Sweigart

Jordan Sweigart

Worcester College, University of Oxford, England
Hometown: Reading, PA