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October Student Blog

Dear AHLI Students,

Welcome to Fall! Unless you live in Florida or California, you will have noticed the cooling weather, changing leaves, and lots of pumpkins popping up in your neighborhood! Hopefully, you have settled into your school routine, and even joined a new club or sport. You may have also realized by now that American high school life is all about balance; students must balance their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, social time with friends, and quality time with family.  

As schools move into the second quarter, it’s a good time to pause and see how you are managing your different responsibilities. While academics should be a priority for you as a student, it’s important to remember that keeping a balance in all areas of your life is essential to stay healthy, mentally and physically. It’s easy to become overly focused on one area and neglect activities and relationships that will help develop you as a young adult. A healthy person balances all the areas below without overindulging in one area more than the others.  

Key Areas to Examine: 

  1. SLEEP: One of the most overlooked areas in a teenager’s life is the benefit of sleep. When sleeping, the brain builds new neural pathways, increasing memory. Growth hormone levels are increased, repairing tissues and building muscle. 
  2. FRIENDSHIPS: God created us to have relationship with Him and each other. Building relationships with your host family and students at school takes conscious effort. It means you must go out of your way (and comfort zone) to interact with others. The best way to start is by being intentional to ask someone a question about themselves! 
  3. HOBBIES: What do you do in your free time? You need an activity that helps you relax and de-stress. Whether your hobby is a solitary or group activity, finding something you enjoy builds positive mental health.  
  4. EXERCISE: Most people think exercise means playing a sport, but even just a quick walk around your neighborhood each day can clear your mind and keep your body at a healthy weight.  
  5. ACADEMICS: Most international students are surprised to learn that homework in America is an important part of their overall grade. Assignments are not just for practice! It’s critical to give enough time each day to review and complete all your schoolwork. Turning assignments in late will negatively impact your grade more than a poor test score. 
  6. SERVICE: Life is about more than just you. You have a lot to be thankful for in your life. Sharing your time, talents and money, not only helps others but benefits you by expanding your worldview. 


Tiffanee M. Wright, MA, MPH | Executive Director
AHLI – International Education and Homestay

Students, reach out to me on WeChat to tell me what you will do to create a better balance in your life!