My Advice for Rising Seniors – Slack Off More

“Procrastinate – do it,”, creative commons

Kristen Catterson, Guest Writer

As the 2023 high school year concludes, I’ve begun reflecting on my time at Castaic. I began my freshman year enthusiastic to be entering high school, happy to be maturing and feeling grown. In retrospect, I appeared very petite and unaware of what was to come. If there is one piece of advice I could give to overachievers like myself, it would be to slack off more.

While I was a devoted student my freshman and sophomore years, junior year was when I was most academically driven. I was preoccupied with acing everything AP-related, and studying ceaselessly. While my grades had never been more significant or high, I could sense the stress that my schoolwork had accustomed me to. The coffee I drank every day would increase my anxiety, making me feel the “urgency” to complete my homework, projects, or study.

No one was pushing myself to stress that much over school—ironically, I was the largest stressor in my life. High standards and fear of failure forced me to give all my energy to my education, and eventually caused some major burnout. 

And now, well into my senior year, I have never tried less and, yet, never felt better. This year taught me how to live, and to juggle responsibilities with personal peace. I’ve kept my straight A’s without studying every night. I procrastinate minimally and have learned to balance school with my social life. I like to think that if I had slacked off more during my other three years of high school, I might’ve been happier. I’ve noticed a significant increase in my energy and mood, and find myself stressing less. My acne breakouts are less frequent, and my caffeine addiction is gone! I’ve even kept up with my part-time job throughout the entire school year, something I was apprehensive about. 

However, the advice to try less, stress less, and not overwork yourself does not go to people looking for an excuse not to try. It goes to the kids like me, who strive to overachieve and push themselves until they break. It won’t kill you to relax, I promise!