By Yasmin Ahuja

Each year of my high school career, I have willingly jumped into a new, fast-paced course load that constantly keeps me on my toes. Freshman year it came in the form of Honors French and math. Sophomore year was all Honors in addition to Computer Science. And this year, the feared 11th grade, I am taking 6 APs. Why I signed up for this life is a question that even I don’t know the answer to, but here I am trying to deal with it and balance everything in the best way I can.

When I tell people about my classes, their first reaction is usually a mix of shock and confusion. “So why are you doing this to yourself?” “Are you okay?” and “Is that even allowed” are just a few of the responses I’ve heard. To answer those FAQs: I do not know why I made this my schedule, I am in fact okay (as of right now), and yes, it is possible. 

The writing process of this article is actually a perfect example of my life: rapidly typing it out while I sit in APUSH when I have Retrospect next period. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned with this course load is that time-management really, REALLY plays an effect on how the rest of your life goes. If I had worked on this piece on Sunday morning instead of sinking into my couch binging on That 70s Show, I would not be feeling the stress I do in this moment. If I had done my Calc homework during one of the 5 hour car rides I had this weekend, I would not have a knot in my stomach about the test coming fast at the end of the week. When I’m behind I tell myself that you have to pick your battles. I say that I can’t give my 100% to every single thing I do, especially when there’s so much on my plate. Sometimes the pep talk helps. But most of the time, it’s just more meaningless words.

I’ve realized that this year, no matter how much work I do, there’s always going to be something else on my to-do list. There are never any breaks from history notes or SAT prep, even during no homework weekends or long vacations. I am a perpetual working machine that is surrounded by high expectations from teachers, parents, and myself. I’ve accepted it. This is me.