Dear Liza

By: Liza Inbody

As the spring semester approaches, so do new classes, relationship issues, packed schedules, and the brink of summer. Anxiety is a universal experience, so fortunately this is not something anyone has to experience alone. Thankfully, Jenks has its own experts to aid with these issues and supply advice. I talked to three students and experts to find the answers to these everyday obstacles.

Time Management

Dear Liza,

“It’s my junior year, and I have been extremely overwhelmed with school, extracurriculars, and the many responsibilities that come with being a high school student. I have tried to use an agenda and plan out my day, however, I still seem to procrastinate when I begin to get overwhelmed. How should I balance my schoolwork, extracurriculars, and fostering a healthy lifestyle?”

-Overwhelmed in Oklahoma

Chereie Veit (left) and Deidre Mooney (right)

Meet the Experts: Cherie Veit is the mother of two adult daughters who are functioning members of society, and the owner of “Organeyez It.” Deidre Mooney is her lifelong friend and coworker at “Organeyez It.”  They organize every room in your house but especially love doing kitchens and pantries!

Dear Overwhelmed,

“As professional organizers, we would tackle time management the same way we organize a kitchen.

First, Sort. Group projects by deadlines and amount of time it will take for each project. For example Project X is due first, and Project Y will take the longest.  So you need to finish project X and work on Project Y every day.

Secondly, Reduce. What things can be eliminated from your routine? What distractions do you have that will keep you from working on your tasks? FOMO (fear of missing out) can make you try and fit too much in.  Reduce these distractions by using the timer on your phone. For example, give yourself some time to destress in your timeline. Something like, when I come home from school, I’m going to set a timer for 45 minutes. I’ll get a healthy snack and look at social media.  When that timer goes off it’s time to start on my projects. Allowing yourself some downtime will help you better focus when it’s time to be task-oriented. If your friends text you or Snapchat you all the time, set your phone on do not disturb for two hours until you take a break. This will allow you to remain more focused on what needs to be done.

Make sure you have a good sleep routine and are getting enough sleep. No one functions well if they are sleepy, so this also has to be a priority when you have lots to do!

Third, Organize.  Gather all the supplies for your projects and make sure you have everything you need to do the work.  Make your bed when you first get up.  A clean room will help you focus and you will have already accomplished a task for the day setting yourself up for success! 

Lastly, Work!  When your timers go off then it’s time to get down to business. Schedule a break for two hours and get after it.  You have everything you need.  Break big jobs into smaller tasks and check them off.  You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Good Luck!”

Check out Organeyez’s website

Losing Passion

Dear Liza,

“Recently I’ve realized that I’m losing my passion for one of my extracurriculars that I have been doing for a while. I think it’s because of the pressure I put on myself and also external pressure. I don’t know if I should keep on doing this extracurricular if I am losing this passion, and don’t think I will do it in my near future as a career. What should I do?”

– Undecided

Karen Workun 

Meet the Expert: Karen Workun (she/her/hers), National Board Certified Teacher, Teacher at Jenks High School (AP English Language and Composition, English 11), Trojans Read the Way Bookmobile Coordinator,

Dear Undecided,

“Thank you for this question. What you’re experiencing is something that, assuredly, many other students grapple with. I think it’s possible that one of two things is happening:

First, you may be experiencing shifting interest in your extracurricular as a result of the pandemic. I know that this strange time has caused me to reevaluate what’s most important in my life, and I’ve had to let some things go! It can be scary to let go of something that you have invested a good amount of mental, emotional, and physical energy in, but it may be for the best.

Second, it’s also possible that you are, as you suspect, simply losing interest in this activity as a result of self-induced and external pressure. If it’s possible to take a brief hiatus from the activity, I say go for it. This will allow for space and time to reflect on why you began the extracurricular in the first place, which might reveal the nature of your commitment to it. Again, if your gut tells you it’s time to let go, that’s a scary prospect, but seemingly a prospect that will lead to more peace AND a chance to explore something new! As we grow, our interests evolve. If you decide to move on to something new, you can remember the time spent in this extracurricular with fondness and appreciation for how it contributed to your personal evolution.

I hope this advice finds you well. Best of luck on your journey!”

Seeking Closure

“I have liked this guy for a really long time and we started talking and I thought we were getting to a serious point. Then, he started making a lot of decisions that were very confusing to me by flirting with people. So, I ended it because he was ghosting me in person. However, I never felt any closure. Should I seek closure or let it be?”

-Moving On

Paula Lau 

Meet the Expert: Mrs. Lau, Jenks High School Licensed Professional Counselor 

Dear Moving On,

“No matter what your age, romantic relationships are always a little difficult. But one of the things that makes them intriguing is the mystery and tension. Do they like me? Do they not?

It sounds like you and this young man have been flirting with one another, but as if often happens you may have been more invested than he was. In deciding whether you want to seek closure or not- here are a few guidelines.

  1. Be aware that though our society calls for “closure” as if it’s a human right, it isn’t. You may want closure, but he may not be able to give it. So be okay ahead of time if he doesn’t want to answer. 
  2. What is your level of pain tolerance and how risk-averse are you? These things are important to know about yourself. If you know any criticism will lead you to self-loathing and depression fits and crying- maybe you just need to quietly move on. However, if you sincerely are just seeking information and can live with the answer, he may or may not provide it, but it may make a difference in how he relates to women in the future and it may give you a sense of closure that you did say something about how you were treated.
  3. Finally, more drama- more trauma. Social media has really popularized the “big breakups” and chaotic sense of people angrily accusing and even coming to physical violence to make a point, but honestly, that helps no one. Keep your dignity intact whether you ask or not. You will never regret that.”

A Note from Liza:

From time management to losing passion, we have received some excellent advice from our experts! If you need advice like these students- contact me through my Instagram and email.

IG: @lizainbody


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