Time Management of a High School Fencer

Managing my time was never really my specialty. I always started working on large projects the night before it was due. There was no motivation for me to complete those assignments early. Those projects would usually receive low grades because everything was half done and rushed. Thankfully, when I started fencing, both during season and off-season, this habit changed for the better.

I enjoyed fencing from the first time I touched a blade. It is a sport that I truly enjoy while hanging out with friends and getting exercise. However, academics and sports clash over my time occasionally. How was I supposed to balance the time between the sport that I love and my studies? Not only that, but being in the Magnet Program placed a good amount of work that took up a good amount of my time.

It was quite a challenge when I first started. Practice would last until 5:45pm, which gave me about 5 hours before I had to go to bed. On top of that, I enjoyed playing video games, which would take up roughly 2 hours of that 5. Factor in eating and that’s roughly 2 hours to do homework. Studying, fencing, and my hobbies did clash a little bit, but I was able to develop a routine that worked out. With me getting home around 6:30pm, I would eat dinner and take a shower. By the time I finished, it would be around 7:00pm. I would then play games until 9:00pm and take the rest of the time to do my homework. Most of the time I would finish around 10:30pm and sleep right after. I am a person that likes my sleep, getting around 8-9 hours. Having a routine made my life a ton easier with being able to get work done and enjoy my free time. Adding fencing to my schedule was not a problem.

The days that we had school meets were no problem as well. A calendar was posted on the Google Classroom that had the entire fencing schedule, which allowed me to prepare in advance.

Fencing off-season gave me more free time, because the only times I fenced was on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to go to Forte. I would get home around 4:00pm and finish homework at 6:00pm. I would play games for about an hour and go to Forte at 7:00pm. Depending on how tired I’m feeling I can leave any time I feel like, but I usually stay around until 9:00pm. I take a shower and go to bed at 10:00pm. This routine gave me more flexibility with being able to leave Forte at any time I see fit. Although, I stick to my main routine 99% of the time.

Managing time all comes down to motivation to get work done. Procrastination or becoming sidetracked occurs when the person has no motivation to do the work that is meant to be done. Having something to drive you to do your work will assist in becoming more efficient with both time and work. My motivation was fencing. If I didn’t finish my work, then I couldn’t fence. It was as simple as that. Starting projects last minute doesn’t occur anymore. Half-finished homework is in the past. 

-Matthew Yap