One-Word Resolution: A more balanced lifestyle


Kaya Miller

During a family trip, sophomore Kaya Miller and her family snap a picture. They took a trip to San Francisco over the summer and visited her family and friends. In her column, she writes about wanting to make more time for activities other than academics – like spending time with her loved ones.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a time of madness, we see the new year as a fresh start. After 2020 was named the “bad luck year,” we looked to 2021 to outshine the other years – later let down, finding out that 2021 wasn’t much different. Here we are with the same mindset about 2022 – except more promising, not to jinx it.

I’ll do what I can to ensure that the hopes for the new year do occur with the help of my New Year’s resolution: balance.

During 2020, we were left restless and succumbing to being entertained by technology, rather than curing our boredom ourselves.

I took up some hobbies, like playing guitar, and I got back into photography. Though I did try to expand on those, I found myself scrolling endlessly through social media and watching television all the time. I have full respect for those who can easily unplug from technology, but I don’t see that being very easy for me. However, I do see the possibility of limiting time on technology so that it doesn’t outweigh those hobbies that I’m interested in and hurt my life goals.

Though difficult classes and extracurriculars bring me stress, sometimes I take a step back and appreciate all that I’ve learned, and love being interested in the topics I learn. I’ve found myself craving conversations about topics from classes like world history, and current events I’m researching in debate with others. My passion for those extracurriculars has taken up a chunk of my past full focus on academics, leaving me with the struggle to hold them afloat. The very fact that I’ve found joy in both academics and extracurriculars expresses the idea of balance, because, with challenging subjects, I’m still able to have fun.

Yes, stress can have positive effects – motivation. But, like everything, there’s a limit. Balancing the amount of stress I can withstand is vital. Maybe I want to keep progressing and growing to reach my full potential, but will my mental health and social life deteriorate?

Although some may look at sophomore year as just the beginning, I see it as just two years until I have to move away from my support group. The people I go home to and listen to me talk about probably boring topics to them but interesting topics to me, there to bring love and encouragement – my family. My friends continue to adventure with me and share my sense of humor. Now is the time to make room for them and savor the time I have with them, at least under these conditions I’m comfortable in.

Aside from finding happiness in the academics and activities I do, I want to prioritize trying activities out just because they’re fun. They should be closer to the balanced amount of activities I do for fun, rather than solely based on college applications and my goals.

With that, also making time for relaxation. I have a habit of needing to always be productive, and if I’m not then I feel guilty. It’s unhealthy to have that mindset, and leads to burnout. I hope to make time for just watching a movie and having free days just to myself.

I’ll look to my planner and journal for the answer to balance. In the year, I want to work on fighting the stress that harm my mental health, with the organization of school work, extracurriculars and time for me and my loved ones. At the end of my days, I’ll use my journal to reflect and enhance my mental health – I’ll move forward optimistically.

Balance seems like the accurate way to summarize the room for lifestyle improvements.