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The Life of a Falcon Leader

John A. Ferguson provides students with a number of opportunities to nurture their passions or undertake prominent roles in improving the community around them. With more than fifty clubs to choose from, some students have risen to the position of President, Vice President, Treasurer, or are avid participants in multiple activities. How do they manage to hold so much responsibility on their shoulders and still maintain a high academic standing? Enter time management, an important asset that all alumni must learn to conquer.

    Managing one’s time is not only defined as the idea of being able to “have time for everything”. To successfully juggle multiple tasks and complete them with punctuality is what truly represents this idea. Some students have suggested creating a schedule or using an agenda, which can be very beneficial for those who enjoy writing out tasks. Since plans and due dates are kept in a physical book, it allows for the prioritization of events and retaining the information written down. However, some students do not roll with the idea of using an agenda and prefer something more portable. For those who prefer using their smartphones, they can set timers that will provide them with certain time limits on each activity or type their reminders on a notification app. However, if you are one that is distracted easily, having everything on your phone may not allow you to focus on the task at hand.

    “I don’t have much trouble managing my time, but I’ve learned my lesson about leaving assignments until the last minute,” says the President of the Class of 2022 Board and flag football player, Anastasia Aguililla. Enrolled in the IB Programme, taking an Advanced Placement class, and maintaining her positions in extracurriculars, keeping up with the amount of work can be overwhelming at times. Although flag football season is yet to begin, the almost daily practices will take up most of her afternoons or overlap with other club meetings. However, Anastasia admits that participating in many sports throughout middle school has accustomed her to having a tighter schedule and knows when she can take up multiple responsibilities in one day. Fortunately, this experience has made her first year at Ferguson less stressful, but still advises her fellow peers to watch their time and prevent procrastination.

    Jillian Salvi Cruz, the Junior Board’s Treasurer, a member of the TV club, English Honor Society, Varsity cheerleading team, and JV Captain, says her schedule is “crazy”. She mainly stays after-school for cheerleading and board meetings but says it is not extremely challenging to balance these extracurriculars with her social or academic life. As an experienced Upperclassman, Jillian knows how to divide and dedicate enough time for all of her responsibilities, especially during the pep-rally or fundraising season, which is when her schedule is all over the place. Based on how much work she has during the day, she mainly heads home at around 4:30 p.m. As late as she may get home, Jillian goes home with “enough time to do any work I need to do”. In concept, what has proved the most helpful is to not consider her extracurriculars as a chore or source of stress, but as a learning and social experience.

    As President of the Psychology Honor Society, Vice President of SECME, Secretary General of Model United Nations, Treasurer for the Senior Board, and a member of the English Honor Society, Clair Marenco certainly balances quite some responsibility on her plate. Outside of school, she even tutors at Kumon takes piano, and is enrolled in multiple AP and Higher Level IB courses! Clair is proud to say that doing all of these routinely is not much of a challenge for her, mainly thanks to creating a schedule that overlays everything she has to do during the day. However, her biggest challenge arrives when she gets home and has only a maximum of three hours to complete all of her homework. Though it can be stressful at times, Clair says it “really teaches me discipline and focus, knowing that if I want to sleep by ten, I really need to focus during these two hours and try to get everything done,”. Knowing how to concentrate and complete assignments on a time-crunch have greatly contributed her Senior year going smoothly and has allowed her to limit the temptation of distraction.

    Not one student has the same way of balancing all aspects of their lives, and each one implements a certain strategy to get work done. However, it is important to understand that a healthy balance between a social and academic life must remain, or it will result in a catastrophic burnout. Anastasia enjoys taking Saturdays off to read or draw and simply completes assignments on Sundays after she has taken some time for herself. Likewise, Jillian finds this break when participating in the activities she is most passionate about, even if it is not always easy. Regardless of Clair’s tight schedule, she also finds time to participate in yoga twice a week and watches an hour of her favorite shows throughout the week to distress. Similar to Anastasia, she tries finishing her homework on Friday or Sunday, but always reserves Saturdays to enjoy with friends and family and does not “touch homework at all”.

Though it may be overwhelming at times, many of our fellow peers have successfully incorporated their afterschool activities as a natural component of their remaining high school years. With dedication and willpower, anyone can master the concept of time-management and mold it into their own way of finding social and academic harmony!

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