As a busy high school junior with a job, I often struggle with balancing between work, school, friends, family and even time for God.
Finding time to do everything I wanted has always been a little difficult. Still, as I have gotten older, the stress of trying to fit everyone in has become increasingly noticeable. I worry that if I do not spend enough time with my friends, they will think I don’t like them or if I neglect my time with my family, they might be sad or worry about me.
I want to do the best job I can while at work, but when I put my all in at my job, I am exhausted when I go to do school work. I want the best grades I can get at school, but when I also want to do all these other things, I am not interested in my school work.
On top of all that, I am also struggling to decide what I will do with my life after school and even just what I’m going to study in college.
It does not help that I procrastinate on almost every assignment or task I am given. I often feel that I have no free time, but even when I do, I still feel the underlying stress of knowing all these things are still on my plate. I try to prioritize what needs to get done by making a to-do list. But, believe it or not, I often spend more time on making and organizing that list than actually doing my work.
I will often have days when I cannot focus on even one single task, and I usually end up calling a close friend or maybe a family member. These phone calls often start as a way for me to avoid my work. Once I explain that I am struggling with an assignment or the video I have to watch is boring, the person on the phone usually gives me a bit of a pep talk, which really helps me to be motivated.
In moments like these, I truly realize how God has blessed me. When I look closer, I understand that the people in my life who are willing to sit there and listen to me ramble or give me that pep talk are gifts from him.
The older I get, the more I can notice God’s work and love in my life. The more blessings that I recognize, the more thankful I am.
I now know how many things I have been given and need to appreciate: I have a loving family, I get to wake up every day and go to a Catholic school, I love my school with my whole heart, I have friends that are incredibly kind and caring, and I know that God is always with me.
For most of my childhood, I loved Sundays purely because that meant I got to go to Mass. The true meanings and actions of the Mass have only made sense to me in recent years.
One of my favorite parts of the Mass is right after Communion when the whole church reflects on what we just experienced. In those few seconds, I can feel his presence, love and willingness to help me through anything life throws at me. And at that moment, all my fears, worries and anxieties are completely gone, and I feel pure joy.
So to anyone who is stressed or uncertain about things, know that God is always with you, ready to listen to and help you through all your worries.
Charley Collins is a junior at St. Joseph School in Conway and parishioner of St. Joseph Church.
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