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Time management: Balancing sports, co-curriculars and the IB program in high school

Navigating high school is hard as it is. Now, add in soccer practice, personal training, multiple clubs, and making time for your personal life. Throw in completing a rigorous diploma while you’re at it. Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Not for a student at EF Academy New York! After interviewing Cecile Walter, a junior IB student-athlete here, we were able to gain some insight on what time management is like as an international student.

What She does

Cecile is involved in the IB Diploma Program, a globally recognized program for 11th and 12th graders. The curriculum is no easy task; a student must complete six subjects and three core requirements that are almost equivalent to a college-level course to earn the diploma. Thus far, Cecile has not only been able to handle these classes, but her grades prove she has surpassed the program’s expectations with the help of EF Academy’s teachers.

On top of maintaining her grades, Cecile is also a part of EF Academy New York’s chapter of National Honor Society and the Philanthropy Club, where she takes part in community service, fundraising and event planning.

As if that wasn’t enough, Cecile is also a superstar athlete! Cecile trains with EF Academy New York’s girls’ soccer coach, Adrian Burgess, twice a week before school, attends soccer practice twice a week after school, travels to games and even makes it to track and field practice once a week. It’s no shock that she was named Athlete of the Season in Fall 2020.

What Helps

With all of these different activities, Cecile has a full plate. When we asked her how she is able to handle these various ventures, she said, “Easy! Time management.” She told us that contrary to belief, all the sports she does actually help to relieve stress and keep her schedule in check. “Sports help take my mind off of the stress of school,” Cecile tells us.

But of course, having that many sports can only relieve so much stress before it starts becoming the stressor, itself. Above all, Cecile tells us that the most important thing she does to care for her mental health is to secure herself with a great circle of friends. Cecile says, “I surround myself with similarly busy people that can help motivate me and help with my time management.” The IB Diploma Program is very time consuming, so being with other people who know what you’re going through allows our students to feel supported. Here at EF Academy, we have no shortage of that.

Cecile goes on to tell us that there is a lot of collaboration within the IB program, which gives students the opportunity to constantly collaborate with friends; “Spending time with your friends is fun, so collaborating with your friends makes school work fun!”

Cecile’s Advice

A key secret from our model student is prioritizing. Cecile noted, “Sports are important, but they’re not the most important. Studying is the most important and so that is something you should do first.” She also shares that it’s valuable to prioritize yourself; “recognize when you need to take a break from everything.” It’s not helpful to your grades or your mental health when you reach your capacity. So sit back, relax, talk to some friends, and take a moment for yourself.

EF Academy provides students the tools to make their own successes. Our students, many similar to Cecile, hit the ground running with these tools and start building their futures. So, when you are feeling overwhelmed, remember Cecile’s advice:

  • build time management skills,
  • prioritize what’s important,
  • surround yourself with supportive friends, and
  • make time for yourself.
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