Creating routines can help manage time

Siena Usui, Staff Writer

Siena Usui: Student Survival Guide

Hi everyone, my name is Siena Usui and I’ll be the advice columnist this year. If you have any questions about school, friends, and other topics, feel free to send them in and I’ll do my best to help you out. The submissions are always anonymous, so don’t feel afraid to ask! I’ll consult with professionals if I’m uncertain with how to help or I don’t know that much about the topic. I can’t wait to answer your questions and I hope my advice is useful. 

If you have questions, email [email protected].


Siena Usui

Q: How can I manage my time better? I already deleted my social media and I do homework during lunch, yet I still find myself sleeping five hours a night.

A: I’ve struggled with this problem myself too. Deleting social media is a good first step towards managing anyone’s time better because it’s always challenging to not get hooked on it. Eliminating any other distractions when your doing homework will also help you. Anything such as your phone, notifications, and even music might lessen your attention so turning everything off can sharpen your focus. Finding the ideal study environment that suits you is another way to help you focus more, which will improve your time management. If you’re fine with noise and being around others without getting off track, studying in a group is a good idea. Or if you are someone who likes individually working, studying alone in a quiet place could work for you. 

Q: How do you balance/manage homework, extracurriculars, and college applications? I feel I have so much on my plate, it’s hard to successfully keep up.

A: Finding the proper balance between various school activities can be a challenge, but there are many ways you can handle this. Some people keep a planner with their entire schedule written out and stick to it, creating a consistent routine that their mind can follow. This helps to set priorities and learn time management skills in addition to becoming a little more flexible with free time. Another thing you could do is prioritize. What assignment is due the soonest? By organizing the order of assignments you do, it’ll help you feel more on task and it won’t just seem to be a huge pile of homework that you have to complete. I usually set aside a slot of time where I can rest and relax in order to avoid burning out. While constantly working hard is a great work ethic, people need breaks to recharge their bodies and minds. 

Q: Tips to relieve/alleviate stress from school/general life.

A: Keeping up with everything can be difficult to manage, and it’s always good to take breaks when you need them! Before starting your homework, I like to time myself and take a 15-20 minute break to just relax ahead of beginning my assignments. If your mind starts to wander off after working for awhile, its best to give it a rest and come back to it with a clean slate. 

“I think that a lot of high school students have that go go go mentality, and sometimes you just need to stop and take that break so that you can come back and be mentally prepared to continue your work,” said counselor-in-training Amber Alderson. 

Another tip to consider is planning. Alderson recommends scheduling your days ahead to help relieve stress from school. Sometimes things get to a point where it becomes overwhelming, and knowing what comes ahead can help you feel more on top of it. I hope that helped, and just remember to not be super hard on yourself! School doesn’t define who you are, and it’s always good to share your problems with close friends to get if off your shoulders.