Article by Jaime Chuidian

In order for a teenager to properly develop, it has been scientifically proven that he or she needs at least 7-9 hours of sleep. However, with limitless opportunities in high school, can a single student hack that sleep schedule? Indeed, it is never easy. With the immense pressure for students to achieve a certain level of academic performance while consistently performing their best in their respective sports, it’s a tough job. From this, many eyes turn to the the innocent, novice juniors; as the beginning of IB is a monumental time in a student’s high school career, many juniors carry a burden of whether they can manage both their heavy amounts of school work and meet the expectations of their coaches.  There is no doubt that this requires rigorous drive and persistence, so what are some of their hacks?

The balancing scale of IB and sports was encountered by varsity soccer athlete, Steffie F. When asked questions about how she manages the two intense commitments, Steffie reassured that “it’s definitely hard to cope with IB after tiring trainings, especially when I come home and remember I have a math assessment the next day. But I guess, because soccer is my passion, I love every moment I play it.” Although she’s bombarded with work, Steffie remains satisfied as she is doing what she truly enjoys. Interestingly, despite her huge soccer commitment, Steffie said, “On a good day, I’m happy with 7-8 hours of sleep,” highlighting her efficiency when it comes to school work. However, with so much on her shoulders, and a healthy amount of sleep in accordance to the ideal 7-9 hours of sleep, how does she do it? “Well… It’s all about prioritization. I mean, it is important to be super efficient in class so that when I get home, I don’t need to do as much studying,” said Steffie.

On the other hand, Naoki A., a potential 4-year volleyball athlete, imparts how he copes with the large workload as he says, “Not gonna lie, there are some weeks where I sleep past midnight, and it’s so hard.” Naoki reiterated how stressful the combination is, and admitted that his main problem is “time management, it’s an extremely bad habit but I just love to procrastinate.” However, time management is something that affects the vast majority of people, and with the rigor of taking IB, it is subject to be improved.

Ultimately, students from all walks of life face tremendous expectations with the IB alone, and more so with the addition of athletic competition. An essential lesson students can take away from balancing the two is the significance of good time management and prioritization. From a global standpoint, the idea of balancing academics and extracurriculars is a common predicament that all youth face. So remember—you’re not alone, Bearcats, but keep aspiring to be above the rest!

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