A teenager walking with his back to the camera in a high school lobby

Navigating High School: How are teenagers juggling it all?

Teenagers in high school need to stop trying to fit a stereotype and focus on chasing their interests says Janya Bhaskar

As high school students working on academic coursework, college applications and internships, oftentimes, we keep our eyes trained only on the future. High School teenagers are juggling academics, hobbies, passions and social lives at the same time. At young ages of 17 and 18 years, we’re trying to develop superior skills in business, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, while working on nonprofits, social ventures and being part of several other clubs. Sometimes, I wonder, is all this even worth it?

Fitting a Stereotype in High School

My parents have never tried to pressure me into fitting the stereotype of the “ideal” college applicant. They believe that we are all constant works in progress and every day is a new start, a new opportunity to refine and improve. 

High school can be overwhelming for teenagers. It is a place to challenge yourself, learn responsibility and to navigate life despite all the chaos. I pretty much forge my own path in pursuing my passions in writing and STEM education. I’ve made many mistakes in these learning areas but I’ve also had many new starts!

Today’s all you’ve got

Live actively, chasing your interests. Don’t live passively as an instrument of somebody else’s priorities. Probe deeply to see what is within you. Dwelling on the past or living in the future both keep you out of reality, depriving you of your present. Don’t rest on your laurels or wallow in your past mistakes. Start afresh today!

Be more of the person you already are today, not the person you wished you had been in your past or not the person you want to be in the hazy future. Live intentionally in the present, in the moment, in the now.

As my grandfather, Appu, quotes often, with his infinite common sense, from the translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward Fitzgerald, “Dead yesterdays and unborn tomorrows, why fret about it, if today be sweet.” Or, he sometimes simplifies it so my little sister and I can better understand “The past is dead, the future is yet to be born, so today is the only thing you’ve got!”

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Navigating High School: How are teenagers juggling it all?

by Janya Bhaskar Reading time: 2 min