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Party like it's 1999

March 22, 2012

You’re 17. (How cool!) It’s spring of your junior year. Righteous! Lots of social opportunities. Proms, team parties, Spring Break. It is time to party! Like it’s 1999. 

When you were five. Milk and cookies. Mild music. Early bedtime.  Parents who aren’t yet so stressed because precious little is high stakes when your kids are still into Dr. Seuss. Swings offer the biggest thrill one could hope for. Fashion choices revolve around shoes that light up when you jump.

You are about to enter the gamut of tests and things that will test you:  AP exams, finding a date for the prom, SATs and ACTs, navigating the streets of DC as a new driver, crucial tests that make or break your junior year gpa, finally making varsity or the lead of the school play, history term papers, and so on and so on.

Part of becoming and adult is about making priorities. You will discover, if you haven’t already, that there isn’t time to do everything. There never will be. It isn’t only a matter of working harder or working smarter (though those are both factors). It is also about what you do not do. 

Maybe you lay off piano lessons for the three week run up to the school play. Maybe your parents cut you a break on walking the dog on Sunday mornings so you can catch up on sleep. Maybe you choose to study hard for one of your AP exams and kind of let the other one slide a little since both are on the same day.

Maybe you also dial back your social life a bit. Maybe a movie with your friends rather than that (allegedly) killer party (until 3am) gains you an extra three hours of sleep or a Sunday when you can leisurely write your paper (since you awaken by 10am rather than 2pm).

No, high school is not a four year audition for college, and so you shouldn’t forgo all of the normal  and healthy activities that make up the high school experience.  But, neither do you have to do everything. You’re not Charlie Sheen. You should have different ideas of “Winning!” If you ditch a party to catch up on sleep (and, yes, flu is still among us) or miss one after school practice to keep on top of schoolwork, those are good decisions and part of setting priorities. 

Good luck!

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