When people find out I spend every lunch in the library their first reaction is always sympathy. They assume there must be something bad or embarrassing going on that forces me to the library like a form of social exile. They immediately think that I am damned to the library, and that I desperately wish I could be in the warm mecca of the cafeteria. What they don’t think is that the decision was a purposeful one on my part, and that my social standing plays no role in it.
When I arrive to school in the morning I’m ready to dedicate myself to the education process wholly. From the moment I walk through the giant oak doors to my school to the moment I exit them, I try to keep school in the forefront of my brain. This includes lunch. Instead of turning off my brain to entertain friends, I try to utilize those precious 30 minutes the best I can to move forward.
A common argument I get from people I only casually know is that this method allows no room for social interactions or “fun.” However, what they don’t understand is that this method of time management actually allows me more freedom than most of them ever accomplish during the school year. Because I utilize all the time I am at school, I rarely have work to do at home ever. So weeknights, weekends, I’m almost always free to hang out with friends or just relax and Netflix binge.
So although it may have seemed to make sense at the time for my naysayers to claim sacrificing lunch makes me sacrifice a life, when it comes Sunday night and I’m able to hit up a concert while they struggle to complete papers it seems their theories are disproven. Instead of giving up my social life by choosing the quiet library and my homework over the rowdy cafeteria and even rowdier friends, I’m actually choosing it.
There’s other ways to place school work first in order to free up your time. Most of them are derived from the simple idea of time management. First of, you could design a schedule where you wake up an hour or two earlier every morning and work on homework. A few weeks of this and you will get used to it, fall into a comfortable rhythm, and you will be amazed by the work you can get done. Another possible idea would be to spend the hour immediately following school at school. Instead of going home, or going to get coffee or go shopping, dedicate that tiny bit of time after school to school.
I am a huge advocate of living a youthful lifestyle in high school, there’s no world where your entire life should be consumed by academic work. However, the realities of our time mean that every high school student is presented with tons of it, (it being work), every day. So in order to deal with the reality, and to make the most of your high school social life while it lasts, these time management tricks are definitely in your best interests.
And if right now you are questioning my sanity, or the possibility that any of these could ever work for you, I would recommend a challenge. This week in school try sacrificing one or two of your meal time social parties for the company of the library. You may be amazed by how easy it is to sacrifice that 20-30 minutes, and you will definitely see the rewards of your diligence in terms of your school work.
I may get strange looks from strangers when I talk about spending lunch in the library, but if they only tried it I might be getting more thanks than strange looks. Just see for yourself.