This girl is goals: Grab her guide to balancing school and sports
Teens are capable of anything: running a business, raising cash for a cause, making a difference, inspiring others. There are great girls everywhere—and in our new “Great Girls” series, created in partnership with Barbizon Modeling, we’ll shine a light on remarkable young women with incredible stories. Whether you get some solid ideas or just some serious inspo, take notes on these top-notch teens—and maybe we’ll be sharing *your* story someday soon.
Between studying for AP physics to finishing your paper on Catcher in the Rye to chairing the homecoming committee, you have a *lot* on your plate. Then add in the JV soccer team and OMG...you don't know how to handle it all!
Juggling school and sports is tough (good grades are just as important as being a top-notch teammate) but fortunately, it's totally possible—and sixteen-year-old Marissa is proof of that. The star tennis player and straight-A student (oh, and Barbizon model!) is a pro at going with the flow and she's sharing some of her secrets to slaying a slammed sched below.
1. Make a master plan.
Trying to keep all of your dates and deadlines straight in your head = a jumbled mess. Marissa 100 percent recommends purchasing a planner (yes, an iCal or Google Calendar will work just as well) to track your timelines: "I write down everything important I need to get done and when assignments are due and then I always check to make sure I haven't double-booked myself." Bonus points if you come up with a color-coding system, too (think: blue for sports, green for school asssignments, pink for social stuff, etc.).
2. Always work ahead.
"My biggest tip for managing time with a busy schedule is do *not* procrastinate," stresses Marissa. "I usually try to finish my work a day or two before it is due so I don't have to worry about it if I have a match or something else come up." Your planner will be key in this pre-planning process: Break down a bigger task into smaller parts, then set deadlines for each of those parts so you stay on track and deadlines don't sneak up on you. For example, if you have a big presentation for science class, note when you want to have the outline done, the research finished, the first draft completed and so on. You can even give your deadlines to Mom or Dad to help hold you accountable.
3. Take advantage of opportunities.
Every busy babe's motto should be work smarter, not harder. By that, we mean keep an open mind and always be on the lookout for new ways to achieve your goals or get stuff done. Take Marissa: She is currently in high school but is also taking courses at the local community college for dual credit. Not only is it making her a better student, it's giving her amaze experience for college apps and a headstart on her future. Talk to your guidance counselor to find out if there are similar opps at your school.
4. Set aside time for y-o-u.
No matter how stacked your sched is, prioritizing yourself is *always* important (trust, it's the ultimate sanity-saving secret). You don't need to spend hours each day lounging in a luxurious bubble bath (although if that's your thing, go for it)—even just 15 minutes reading your favorite book before bed or a morning walk around the neighborhood is enough. Marissa's stress-less solution is staying active even when she's off-duty: "I usually get together with some of my teammates and play on the weekend to stay on top of my game. Plus, my BFF and I work out together sometimes after practice at her house."
5. Keep things in perspective.
When you're super stressed (your group project is due tomorrow and it's the big championship game), it's easy to get down in the dumps and feel not-so-great about life in general. In those moments, try to remember all of the benefits of what you do. Marissa explains, "If I didn't have tennis, I wouldn't have the great friends I do now. My team and I have grown very close and we all support each other—we're basically like family."
How do *you* balance everything in your sched? Share your secrets below!