Author: Oscar W '20
Being able to balance school and extracurricular activities is complicated, but keeping yourself healthy, especially around finals, is vital. Body health can range from staying injury free, all the way to getting enough sleep at night. It is also crucial to maintain mental health throughout the school year, from not being too stressed over difficult classes, to spending the social time with friends.
Since I came to this school, keeping my body healthy has been a challenge. My freshman year, I came into Urban with absolutely zero time management, and I used to find myself staying up past midnight each night. I would be able to complete the school but would struggle to wake up the next morning and be present in my classes. Obviously, this method did not work out for me, but I still could not find a way to motivate myself to follow a better schedule. It took me until the end of freshman year to understand that working this way is not “healthy”. Being able to come to an understanding with myself that my work ethic was garbage and something needed to change was ultimately what made the difference. Similarly, with running, I would run 6 days a week, totaling over 50 miles a week. I used to wear shoes that provided no support, and as a result injured my knees. Despite this injury, I ran throughout track season with the same shoes and ignored the pain in my knees. Starting sophomore year, I refused to acknowledge that I was not at 100% health, refused to buy more supportive shoes, talk to a doctor, or go to physical therapy. Eventually, my injury got so bad my coach pulled me from the team and didn’t let me run at NCS. At the time I was disappointed in his decision but realized I needed external intervention to realize I wasn’t healthy.
I have maintained decent mental health throughout my three years at urban, but I find the biggest areas of stress stem from my parents. I have always been able to balance stressful school work and social time. However, I often argue with my parents, so completing school work at home was quite difficult. I found ways to circumvent arguments by working in the library or at a friends house. However, all these solutions only allowed me to avoid the situation, instead of fixing it. During the times I was in an argument with my parents, my biggest resources were Riley Maddox (my advisor), and Kaern (counselor). I didn’t really feel like talking to my friends, but being able to talk to another adult about my situation was very helpful.
Overall, physical and mental health are important to student life, and it is vital that you take care of yourself, whether it be recognizing you are injured, or simply talking to another person about stress in your life.