Finding Balance : International schools in Tokyo

With the pressure of finishing school work, participating in extracurricular activities, club work and after school studies, students today have no time for themselves. Let alone enjoy time with other people. This is highly detrimental to their overall growth not just academically but also as a socially adept human being. Finding balance and prioritising is absolutely essential. But, balance is not an easy thing to achieve. Especially in competitive environments such as the ones provided by international schools in Tokyo. Just trying to catch up in this fast paced world is difficult for adults. Why do we put our children through so much stress and pressure at such a young age when they are just learning what life is all about?

Here are some ways to help you find balance in your every school and social life-

  • Schedule

Plan your day or week ahead of time and try not to procrastinate on these things. While making this list keep in mind your priorities. Finish what is most important first and then move on to the secondary tasks.

  • Mental exhaustion is real

While most of your work might not be physical in nature, your brain is at work the entire time. With the amount of coursework, exams and extra studies, your mind is bound to be stressed. Make it a point to schedule breaks in your time table and find ways in which you can relieve your stress. Do what works for you best.

  • Be a high achiever not a perfectionist

I can understand the need to do a perfect job as a senior high school student. But, perfection is not a necessary element to achieve success. Perfection could also be something that you never achieve as most perfectionists have their own standards for perfection. Studies have actually shown that such behaviour tending towards perfection can actually sometimes hinder doing well in projects and assignments

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eat, sleep and exercise. Even with the busiest of schedules it is imperative that you make time to have a good meal, work out a little and sleep the recommended hours. Your mind needs fuel to work in an optimal  manner, exercise, food and sleep are the ones that provide your brain with this much needed fuel. Don’t be a miser with these.

  • Take a mental health break

If you feel drained out and mentally exhausted, take a day off. Taking a mental health break is normal and you do not have to feel small if you feel the need to take one. Talk to your senior high school teacher and let her know. Any good teacher would be very cooperative and understanding of your needs.

  • Ask help when you need it

When you are determined to deliver great work while competing with others, it might feel unnatural to ask for help. But, trust me your ability to grow and learn will depend on your ability to ask for help at the right time. It is more likely that you will get the job done better when your doubts are resolved and you found the right kind of help. Never be afraid to ask.

  • Develop a strong support system

Never underestimate the power of having a strong group of friends and family. They will be the ones who are there to always pick you up when you are down. Studies have shown that having a strong group of loved ones you can confide in and spend time with increases resilience against stress, boosts your self esteem and also improves your overall health and well being. Take the time and put in the effort to make new friendships and maintain them. Give as well as receive.

  • Be in the moment

This tip should be followed by everyone, not just children. Don’t worry about what you aren’t doing. Stay focused on the task or the moment you are in. If you keep worrying about one thing while doing something else you wouldn’t be able to focus and do well in either. Don’t let your future work interfere with precious quality time that you spend with your loved ones.


While balance can be very difficult at times, I would like to end this article by saying that never try to achieve true balance in the moment. There will be some days that will have to be given entirely to school work and some only to family and friends. The answer lies in your priorities.