Laurie Hernandez's guide to balancing your life

Laurie Hernandez is a force to be reckoned with. She's an Olympic athlete, she's a clothing designer, Dancing With the Stars champ and she's now officially a high school graduate. TBH, we're tired just thinking about how much she's had on her plate these past few years.

Laurie, though, is pretty good at keeping her cool. Here's how the totally talented teen keeps it in check...

Girls' Life: How does it feel to be finished with high school?!
Laurie Hernandez: It feels so good to finally be done. I mean, I love being able to learn new things but at the same time it's a big stress reliever. 

GL: What are your summer plans now? How are you going to celebrate?
My summer plans are now geared more towards gymnastics. I’ve taken about a two year break and so I'm looking into making that transition from being on a break to now coming back. I’m excited!

GL: Do you have college plans in the works?
 I would love to pursue a career in acting, but I am deferring college by a few years depending on the Olympics. It's definitely something that I value and that I think is important, and I think it would be a good transition to the next chapter of my life. 

GL: What else were you up to on your "break" besides school?
There’s been a lot that’s been going on. From being able to doing the Olympics to Dancing With the Stars. And to come out with a book, that’s been something that I was so excited and so passionate about. And there’s been lots of traveling in between.

GL: Sounds like you were still super busy. How did you juggle all of those things?
Well I think the biggest thing is balance. It's making sure that I can balance my priorities versus the things that I'm really passionate about. As a little kid, that was something that was reinforced quite a lot. It was making sure that I had time for gymnastics, but also I had time for education, and I knew that both were important to me. 

GL: What do you do when you just want to chill out?
Usually naps work pretty well to calm me down [laughs]. Honestly I love music, so if I'm able to listen to music that's the best way to chill me out too. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Shawn Mendes. He’s like a creative genius, his stuff is good. It comes from all different genres.

GL: What's one of your best gymnastics-related memories?
LH: The first day that I tried the Alcon Dailies AquaComfort Plus contact lenses I caught a release move on bars which was a lot of fun.  At twelve years old, my mom was taking me for my annual appointment with the ophthalmologist and we noticed that my vision wasn’t doing too well, and the best way to be able to see without anything hindering my sport for me was using Alcon Dailies. Honestly, I can say that as an athlete, I don’t know how good of an athlete I would be without having the proper vision—I mean we only have four inches to work with, so if you can’t see it that makes things really hard. 

GL: The games are two years away. It's seems far, but it's creeping up on us...
A lot of people think that two years is a pretty long time. It's a long time to get things together, but honestly—as an athlete—two years is a very short amount of time. It won't be as stressful though, because instead of needing 11 years to come up to the point, I've been able to have those 11 years already under my belt, so I'm just doing our best to get back on track.

What do *you* want to accomplish this summer? Share in the comments!

by GL | 6/7/2018
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