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The Scheduled Life of an American Teenager



Disclaimer: For all of you who understand the reference, I’m sorry to inform you that this article isn’t about baby drama. Instead, this is just an article sympathizing those who overly pack their schedules with a million things to do, something that I am very familiar with. Here’s a little glimpse into my own schedule.

The day begins at 6:00 a.m. Brush your teeth from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Eat a fibrous, whole-grain breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Review linear algebra notes from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Attend your morning math lecture from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Rush back to the apartment to change into running clothes. Run and work out from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Shower then rush back to attend your economics lecture from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eat a light lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Work at the office from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eat a well-balanced, carbohydrate-rich dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Go to your club meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Attend your next club meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Go back to your apartment and do homework, create outlines, and study from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

If this sounds familiar or is somewhat relatable, then you might be living the scheduled life of an American teenager/college student. Sorry to steal your thunder, Shailene Woodley. Unsurprisingly, this is just a typical day of a college student who cannot help but schedule every hour of her life. If it isn’t class, it’s work. If it’s not work, it’s studying. If it’s not studying, it’s an on-campus meeting/presentation. If it’s not that, it’s either a break to eat or sleep. Sounds stressful, doesn’t it? Well, for some of us, this is basically our lives.


Over the past year, I, along with a good handful of other college students out there, have discovered how much pressure we can handle, as well as the quality of our day-to-day performance under these conditions. From my personal experience, I have found some truth to the saying, “No pressure, no diamonds”. Some people actually live off of a fast-pace life and thrive under the pressures of an overly-packed schedule.

Yet, there are times when the stress is hard to manage. When those days come, and they eventually will, take a deep breath. Remember, who is putting this stress and pressure on your shoulders: yourself! We can control how much and how hard we push ourselves. All it takes is a moment to realize that the stress on your shoulders is something you created. If you want to relax, then by all means, relax. Take a nap. If you work, reduce your work hours if possible. Go for a walk. Visit some friends. And remember, if you feel a sudden surge of stress and anxiety about upcoming tests, take it one step at a time. It will progressively become more manageable as you cross off your checklist. Do what’s best for you and helps you perform at your best.


Christine Chen

UC Irvine '19

Christine is one of the Campus Correspondents for Her Campus at UC Irvine. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, listening to business tech podcasts, running, and making people smile! :)
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