The music, the dancing, the parties, everything that is seen in the movies is what people expect in high school. That's not always the case for me. If I choose the Hollywood scene it seems I have to be ready to really pay the price.
It makes sense that you would be able to go to these parties, especially during junior year when you have a license and a new sense of freedom. Even with this new freedom it is sometimes hard to actually find the time to go out. Somehow every weekend that I want to party I have a ton of homework to do which makes it difficult to go and enjoy myself. At the same time if I don't have anything during the week to look forward to I can barely make it through the grind.
Every Friday on my way home I think about all of the things that I want to do: go out with my friends and grab lunch, go out with my friends to a movie, or maybe go out with my friends to a party. But then I think about all the things that I have to do: write a three-page paper for AP U.S History, 20 AP Physics problems or read a 200 page book for AP Composition and Language. Trying to do all of this homework in three days and hang out with my friends is practically impossible. Oh, yeah and I'm usually exhausted from waking up at 5:15 in the morning to be at the pool by 6:00 four days a week for water polo training.
If I decide to stay home, I can get I can get my homework done, but fun takes a back seat. For me, the homework part means reading this week's assigned book for AP Comp, which could be anything from a book about trees to a book about zoos that were popular during the 1940s. Then I squeeze in a break and watch some Jersey Shore, the perfect remedy from all that work. Next up is reading 35 pages about the presidential election of 1800 and starting a paper on how that election compares to the previous election. For the most part the assignment isn't that hard except that if I don't have a killer thesis, I might as well not even write the paper. After three or four hours, break time comes around again and this time I decide to get on the internet. This starts out as a small distraction but there is so much stuff on the internet with YouTube and Facebook, before I know it I've been on long enough to take a flight from Chicago to New York. When I go back to the books it's all about the AP Physics problems. The best way I can describe AP Physics is like philosophy mixed with calculus and walking barefoot over hot coals. When doing a physics problem you can easily work on a problem for 45 minutes and make no progress except for having 15 different ways that don't work. After doing all of this there is no "break time," just "sleep time" and preparing to do the same thing tomorrow. This is option #1 for the weekend. All of the homework gets done. I'm glad about that, but there is absolutely no fun involved.
If I decide to go out on the weekend that means Friday night, I join everyone at the basketball game and cheer hard for the school wearing the school colors. Hopefully the team wins so someone throws a party. But going to a school with kids from all over the city means the person throwing the party probably lives on the other side of town. So sure I get to go to the party with all of my friends, but now I'm an hour away from home and I'm too sleepy to drive home so I have to spend the night. The next morning when I wake up late I have an hour-long drive back home. I'm usually still so tired from all the festivities of the night that I sleep all day long and every time my mom walks into my room to ask about my homework, I assure her I'm just taking a break from reading. Of course, the same weekend I choose to party is the very weekend I have a group project due. So I drag myself out of bed and head to a classmate's house to work. Unfortunately, any time we actually start to make progress we break out with a case of the giggles as we relive the Saturday night fun. This forces us to wake up early Monday morning to try and finish the project at school. This option to party involves a lot of friends, fun, dancing, giggles, but practically no homework. That means Monday morning comes around and I'm feeling guilt, stress and anxiety over not doing all my homework or not doing my best.
Figuring out how to do both is the key to surviving high school. I still haven't managed to figure that out. Which is why most Mondays at the lunch table when everyone talks about the parties from the past weekend and all I can say is "Oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook."
Yeah, I could use some tips on how to have a better mix of parties and fun.