Prioritize what makes you happy

Maya Preuss, Outgoing In-depth Editor

Leading up to senior year, I was doubtful about playing soccer because I saw it as an obstacle for focusing on college applications. However, I was proven wrong after having a change of heart and joining the team. 

 For a long time, I thought the most important thing that I could do was work on my personal statement and the many supplements needed to apply to colleges. But, there were so many other important things in my life that this mindset took away from me, namely soccer. 

I have been playing soccer since I was five years old, from when my jersey went all the way down to my knees to being co-captain my last season. Soccer has always acted as my outlet, a way for me to take a break from all the other responsibilities and pressures of my life. This continued this past season, even with the added stress of college applications. 

When I had a stressful and busy day with even more work to do when I got home, every time I stepped on the field and laced up my cleats I had time to enjoy the sport I have loved playing my entire life. 

I cannot lie and say that it was always easy for me and there weren’t times when I wondered if things would be different if I didn’t do soccer. I stayed up later doing homework than I usually do and may not have studied as much as I should have for a test, but the benefits of taking a break were more important. 

By the end of the season, I was able to see the various ways playing soccer had helped me. By having a break after my school day, I was able to decompress and refocus on my goals. It allowed me to be more focused later in the day when I needed to work on schoolwork and college applications. I always thought it would add stress, but in the end, it was a stress relief. 

Taking time for yourself to do what you love is always important, whether that is engaging in a sport or carving out 30 minutes of your day to read a new book. Not only is it important in the short term, but making time to do what you really love can also have long-lasting health benefits. 

Even though everything may seem like it will crumble if you take time out of your day to do something other than homework or other traditionally productive tasks, it won’t because you are being productive in another way. 

Prioritizing your happiness and doing what you love is being productive because even though it is not visible on paper, it will help you reach your goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.