Balance in Life

Hello all, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled programming! It feel like its been years since my last journal entry, because naturally I waited till the 3rd to last week of summer to start my first journal entry. But fear not, for I am back and (I think) better than ever. This first journal entry back will be a simple reflection of what I have done in my life to create balance this summer, because believe me when I say I have done a LOT of schoolwork. Yeah, note to self, send IB a letter next time to let them know its summer break, I think they missed the memo. But enough of that. The reason I have chosen to write about balance (other than the fact that it was an assigned prompt) is that I have learned a great deal about life I general this summer, and one of the things I’ve learned is that life should be enjoyable! Now of course, this doesn’t mean fun in the sun 24/7, but it instead means that life should not be a cycle of waking up every weekday angry, spending your week bored, living it up on the weekend, and then going back to being angry and bored on Monday. No. Life should be about trying to find those moments, every day, that you are grateful for because they make you happy. Whether thats a fun teacher (Miss Amy), a friend, a sibling, or a sunset, it is important to enjoy something every day, so that it becomes less of a flow and more of a tour! This is especially important to me, as I approach my final year of high school, the end to the K-12 grind that has shaped me since I was 4. I spoke to many graduated seniors about what their tips, and one surprised me with how often it came up, surpassing tips like study hard and don’t procrastinate. The tip was to enjoy every moment of senior year, because it will be your last in high school forever (hopefully). Now that’s not to say that I’m not looking forward to college, but that high school has overall been some of the best years of my life and I want to get the most out of it. And so, as our little boat approaches the Category 5 hurricane that is IBDP year 2, it is important that we keep the importance of balance in mind, as perhaps the most grave mistake to make would be to allow IB to consume your life. And on that cheerful note, what have I done to create balance this summer? Well you could say I’ve started my own little project that I really enjoy and believe will be very helpful for my stress level and mental health in the long run. The basis of this project is essentially to spend more quality time in the outdoors through activities such as exploring, camping, and hiking. It’s been scientifically proven that spending time in the outdoors, be that jungles or forests or unpopulated beaches, has tremendous benefits that correlate with lower levels of cortisol and higher levels of pleasure chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Not to mention, learning how to navigate, explore, and survive in the wilderness is an extremely good skill to have in life, and a very good exercise for your brain in critical thinking and problem solving under pressure. How have I developed this project? What I have basically been doing is a ton of reading on survival techniques, navigation, and learning about the various plants and animals one may encounter. I’ve also gone shopping and purchased fun, awesome new gear such as boots and a bag that will be very beneficial to improving my outdoor experience. Ive also spent a lot of quality time watching documentaries about the wild, looking at photos, and really just getting as much information and content as possible. While this may not sound like a blast to everyone, it has given me a greater sense of purpose and security as I feel more closely connected with the wilderness around me, and I am a much happier and more balanced person because of it!

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