There always needs to be a balance


Last year, I wrote my first article for the What’s On reviewing the balance of work and play. School’s back in and suddenly this had become all the more relevant yet again. The dread and panic about this final year has yet again cropped up and I won’t lie – I’m terrified. This will determine the way the next four years of my life pan out. I don’t think I’m ready for that responsibility – I’ve only just learnt to be able to order my own food in a restaurant (ok, that’s a hyperbole, but you get the gist)!

In the (barely) two weeks I’ve been back in school, my stress level has begun to gradually increase. It feels odd to go back and have to do so much when I’ve so wanted to remove the stress I felt during my exam period. Also, last year’s results are making things more difficult. In order to earn the grade I want at the end of this year, I’m planning on resitting a paper (one which unfortunately does not correspond with this year’s course) making the ever looming stress of revision feel closer and closer day by day. It’s somewhat illogical – I don’t think I have any exams until Spring of next year, but the thought that it all counts more than ever this year is making my heart skip erratically and I’ve barely made it to the end of September yet.

I know there needs to be a balance. There always needs to be a balance. But it’s how that balance ends up working – you need no more no less of both. I suppose my problem at the moment is it’s either too much work or too much play. My balance is off, and it’s putting me off for the rest of the year. It’s easy to misjudge the amount of work you have in Year 13 but remember – if you don’t think you have any work, it’s probably best to check; you might have an essay due in tomorrow…

People will tell you that working too hard will burn you out. It’s true I suppose, but my issue is that if I don’t work above my natural motivation, I don’t make the grade. But equally, it is easy to burn yourself out if all you do is work, and this is why you need something to take your mind off too much stress so that you don’t panic about having too much work before realising it’s doable. Drawing has always been a hobby of mine, and to take a moment to doodle is just a quick way of releasing enough worry to clear my head enough.

I don’t work well under pressure, so taking the time to colour (I’ve acquired multiple colouring books over the past year for this purpose) relaxes me, so that I can work out a plan of action for the work in front of me.

I want to tell you that it gets easier, but to be honest you’ve just got to get on with it. It’s horrible I know. But find the balance and work at it – it will make everything that more bearable.

By Tirion Davies