Balancing Baldwin

The Key To Making Peace With Your Hectic Schedule

Design and graphics by Violet Paiva 23 and Cathy Wang 23

Photos courtesy of Izzy Thompson '23 and Makenna Walko '23

Design and graphics by Violet Paiva ’23 and Cathy Wang ’23


In her article, “The Cost of Excellence At The Baldwin School,” Georgia Jane Whamond ‘25 raises powerful questions about the consequences of the busy lives Baldwin students face. As we enter the 2022-23 school year, with the theme of joy as our guide, these questions have become more relevant than ever. Whamond’s article is an incisive deep dive into the demands put on Baldwin students, and the difficulty of juggling classes, extracurriculars, athletics, and social life. But it doesn’t quite answer the question: how?

There is no one single answer. But after four years in the Baldwin Upper School, we hope to offer some suggestions on how to tackle the challenging, incredible, life-defining experience that is high school at Baldwin. 

Maintaining both academic excellence and mental stability requires immense “balance.” To us, balance means weighing your priorities and dividing your time in a truly realistic way. Life gets busy, and suddenly you’ve spent all G-Block in a KIVA meeting, your free period in the Writing Center editing an essay, you didn’t come home from soccer until 7:00 pm, and you still have to wash the dishes– not to mention the homework looming overhead. 

To counter this, we suggest planning out your time to avoid becoming overwhelmed. If you have hours of work to do, take advantage of your free periods during school hours to get a head start. Use blocks like lunch and G-Block to catch up with your friends; that way, you won’t call them with a quick question and end up on the phone for two hours. Moreover, if you know you’re crunched for time when you get home from school, that night is not the night to spend hours on social media. Allot time for each subject of homework, and head to bed as soon as you can. 

That’s another task that can seem more daunting than it should be: sleeping. Although eight hours of sleep can feel unrealistic, that should still be the objective. True, there are times when waking up at 6:30 am for your morning commute is a must, and 10:30 pm can be an impossible bedtime. But consistently getting too little sleep can leave you drained, take a toll on your mental health, and affect your academic performance. 

Try to get your work done early, but know when to draw the line and head to bed. If you find yourself stuck on that one math problem for hours on end, talking to your teacher about it tomorrow will help you more than grappling with it until 1:00 am. 

Be serious about your clubs. It’s amazing to club-shop and explore what interests you, but once you’ve gotten a feel for what you like, decide on a few that you can actually commit to and stick with them. Colleges like to see long-term engagement, and clubs are a lot more enjoyable when you can give them your all, as we have to The Hourglass and Model Congress for four years. 

Throughout all this juggling, one major thing that can be “lost along the way” is mental wellness. As Maddie Davis ‘23 highlights in her article “How Safe is Safe2Say,” there are many resources to support you when sinking starts to feel easier than swimming. However, staying positive and “doing okay” under such pressure can still feel exceedingly difficult at times. 

Mental health is a tougher issue for us to address. What we can say is this: reach out. 

Verbalizing worries or concerns to friends, family, or trusted adults does help, and the Baldwin community is here to support you. Try to take a step back when needed, and above all else, take care of yourself. Sports, arts, and academics matter– but you matter most. 

You only have four years at Baldwin, and someday, you will find yourself in our position: seniors, looking back at your time here. When you do, make sure that your time was well spent– not worrying about how many ATs to take or how a club will look on your college application, but appreciating the precious memories and connections that truly make Baldwin “excellent.”