Students working to balance school, outside lives

Busy lifestyles can affect mental health


Graphic by Cannon Wake

Abraham Lincoln is filled with 1,334 students.  Each one of them have very different lives, but most come to school at 8:00 every day and leave at 3:10. Some students are involved with sports and work, but others have a different type of stress when the bell rings at 3:10 whether it’s having to go to an unstable home, taking care of siblings, or even seasonal depression. Whatever happens before or after those bells for students are endless possibilities. 

Junior football player Drew Wilson has a busy schedule surrounding his role on the football team. He begins his day early in the morning and ends it late at night, but he works to keep his priorities straight.  

“I get up at 5:30 and head to the YMCA gym at 5:45. I work out until 6:45 then I drive to school. I get to school at 7:50,” Wilson said. “The main source I use to balance out my priorities is I have a notepad where I write down events and due dates. I organize my work from most important to least important.” 

As Wilson works on his priorities, he said the busy schedule puts a strain on his mental health. 

“Toward the end of the season, I get mentality drained because I’m constantly going but after I’m fine and with a harder school schedule with harder classes the assignments aren’t the easiest,” Wilson said.

A junior who attends ALHS and has requested to stay anonymous has a busy and stressful schedule. 

“My home life is stressful and I do a lot of stressful things. I lose motivation at home then it carries to school. My home life stress carries to school. I can’t focus on school when I’m stressing about home things,” anonymous said. “I keep the two separate. My school is in the morning and home life at home. I don’t do any school work at home. School is just another thing on top of my other priorities.”  

Even though the student has obstacles they work at pushing through. 

“I grind towards my goals day in and day out. I’m pushing myself to my limits but we’re okay, I’ll be good. I try to do too much at home and then I have school on top of that.  Every day you wake up it’s a good day and other people have it harder than me,” they said.

Sophomore Trevor Love said has had a hard upbringing and still brings himself to get up and go to school. He tries to focus and keep his home life separate from his school life.  

“I try to leave my home life at the door and don’t let it affect my school work,” Love said. “When I was in trouble with the cops I got all F’s and a C in art and my teacher never knew (that I was in trouble),” Love said. “I didn’t get my grades up. It affects my school work because it’s hard to think about two things at the same time.”

Junior Maliah Young has a busy schedule but she is aware of what needs to get done and tries to surround herself with positive people to benefit her mental health.  

“I try to make a schedule before the day and get priorities straight. I do the most important thing first, like school. I put my friends last and if I don’t have time for friends then I try to make time on other days,” Young said. “It’s hard to balance but I get it done. I know my priorities. I surround myself with positive people to help my mental health.” 

Junior Ubaldo Valdez leaves his outside life out the door and struggles to get motivated to do school. He still finds things to make him happy.  

“My home life is complicated but I leave my life at the door. I don’t get as motivated to do school since I can’t fix it,” Valdez said. “I play soccer for a fun break.” 

Abraham Lincoln school psychiatrist Leslie McCaslin said that a lot of sleep and using the school resources can make it easier for students.  

“The resources we provide are counselors, school psychologists, and teachers they (students) feel comfortable enough to talk to,” McCaslin said. “Having free time in your schedule so you don’t get too overwhelmed is good.  A big one is that people overlook is that you should balance your sleep so don’t sacrifice sleep and keep a healthy nutritious diet.” 

Abraham Lincoln is a diverse space filled with many backgrounds and lives.  Students still wake up every day and go to school and work their hardest despite what they go through in their personal lives.