This post is part of a series focusing on Time Management for Teens, Students, and High Schoolers. Get the complete online course here or order the book here!

What Are Weekends In High School Really For?

How you use your weekends in high school - what you do, who you see, and how you schedule yourself - is one of the major choices of high school. It separates high-honor roll students from everyone else.

You don’t have to give up on having fun on the weekends. The key is balance, planning and prioritization (and following the top 3 rules of good time management!)

You see, each weekend in high school is a “mini-vacation” - circling around once per week to give you some choice in how you spend your time.

What weekends and vacations have in common is this: While some people use their vacations to laze around, others find a way to enjoy themselves AND get stuff done.

Plan Your High-School Weekends In Advance

PLANNING your weekends in advance is simple… yet it’s one of the most important ways of getting more out of your Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The trick is to always use Friday after school to plan your weekend.

Or better yet, use the end of each weekend to plan the coming weekend in advance.

Keep A “Weekend Journal” In High School

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, keep a journal! Possibly even a specific “Weekend Journal.”

Notice and record how you spend your weekends, and what you can improve upon.

Remember that the purpose of the weekend is to get stuff done… and get time to relax and have fun.

So, don’t just record what you get done, also journal about what you do for fun.

The purpose of this weekend journalling is to experience insights and power over your weekends. This will help you feel happy and fulfilled in life.

High School Weekends Are Practice For Real Life

High school weekends are a great time to practice for “real life.” School days are so rigorously scheduled, but weekends are generally so unstructured - they’re up to you.

Think of your weekends, and what you choose to do with them, as practice.

You’re getting a preview of the free-flowing time management you’ll experience when you graduate into the “real life” working world.

Balance Sleep And Energy On Your Weekends In High School

One of the top priorities of any high school weekend is to catch up on sleep, but don’t overdo it. Too MUCH sleep can be as bad as not ENOUGH sleep.

The real secret of having energy on the weekends is to have a sense of purpose.

What do you plan to do with your weekend? What are you going to accomplish? What will you enjoy on Saturday and Sunday?

When you’re excited about what you’ll do on the weekend, you won’t want to spend the whole day sleeping!

How To Get Your Homework Done Over The Weekend

Unfortunately, the weekends in high school aren’t ALL about sleep, fun, and life purpose.

We also have to get our weekend homework and major assignments done before Monday rolls around again.

How do you prioritize, and when do you do your schoolwork on the weekends?

Well, like everything else, starting early is key.

For example, if you start your assignments midday on Saturday, instead of waiting till Sunday after dinner, you’ll carry less stress over the entire weekend.

Or, if you start homework Sunday morning instead of Sunday night, you will lower the risk of a panic situation.

Plan Weekend Homework Around Your Energy Levels

So, how do YOU handle your weekend homework?

Do you do your weekend homework in the mornings? Or, do you wait till the afternoon or evening?

Here’s another place where journaling will help. Take note of when you are at your highest and lowest energy levels on Saturday and Sunday. Use this information to plan your upcoming weekends.

You should try to get your hardest assignments done when your energy on the weekend is highest.

Planning your weekends in advance, do your weekend assignments as early as you can, and maximize your “high energy” points.

You’ll find that you get a lot more done on your weekends without needing to sacrifice much time relaxing, sleeping, or hanging out with your friends.

Get Ahead Of Other High Schoolers On The Weekends

99% of high schoolers sleep late on weekend mornings.

On Saturday morning, most of your friends will probably be asleep.

Nothing entertaining is really going on since no one is awake.

That makes weekend mornings the perfect time to do your hardest weekend schoolwork. Just get it over with!

Then, when all the fun starts in the AFTERNOONS and EVENINGS of the weekend, you can go have fun. You’ll have much less homework hanging over your head!

Weekends are prime time for SAT prep and ACT prep. Work on your practice tests and homework sections.

Weekends are also IDEAL for long sessions of free reading to improve your speed and comprehension

You can also specifically work on building your vocabulary.

Weekends are also one of the only times you can get ahead on college apps and scholarship research and applications.

You could use the time on weekend mornings to start my Winning College Scholarships course.

Take small steps weekend by weekend. While your friends are sleeping in, you’ll be earning THOUSANDS of dollars in college funds.

That’s money you WON’T have to pay back later - meaning, when you’re done with college, you’ll be WAY ahead in life.

All from a few Saturday and Sunday mornings while everyone else is sleeping!

Find Motivation To Make Your Weekends Meaningful

The use of weekends in high school gives you a chance to get a financial head start.

That might mean a nicer living situation or more choices in life.

The ability to travel or buy a car after college…

Or whatever it means to you to have some extra money.

What’s it worth to YOU?

Are you ready to lose a little sleep on Saturday morning in order to live an exciting and rich life?

I know I am.

Sports and Activities Take A Lot Of Weekend Time In High School

If you’re taking part in sports or activities in high school, you’ll also find that these things eat up a LOT of your time on the weekends.

You’ll be involved in events like practices, games, meetings, and performances.

It’s up to you to ANTICIPATE how draining this can be of your time and energy.

It’s also your job to predict the SOCIAL element that eats up time before and after these events.

For example, if on Friday after school you’re supposed to go early to the game for warm-up and stretching, and then stay late as the team goes out for pizza….

That’s going to cut into your weekend time for homework and relaxing. It’s also going to cost you a lot of energy and focus.

Budget Extra Time On For Weekend Activities

You should budget double time - twice as much as you think you’ll need - for  weekend sports and activities.

That way you have time to socialize and recover your energy after participating.

At worst, you’ll have a little extra time to pad your schedule with. At best you’ll have prevented a panic situation or homework disaster.

On particularly busy weekends when you are tied to teams, groups, and other people’s schedules, don’t try to pack too much in.

Instead, reduce your to-do list and focus on choosing your priorities wisely.

Social Life On Weekends In High School

This same rules also apply to your weekend social life in high school.

Sure, weekends are great - and you should enjoy them with friends.

But, you also need sleep. One really late night on the weekend can mess up your whole upcoming week of school and activities.

And please don’t do anything dumb on the weekends… or at least don’t get caught doing anything stupid!

I know that some teenagers use alcohol and drugs. These things slow you down, harm your health and can lead to SERIOUS trouble.

The kind of trouble that can cancel out all the hard work you’ve put in to high school.

I won’t start sermonizing, because my point is that you need to have fun with your friends. But please - do it in a smart way that doesn’t harm your health or steal all your energy for the upcoming busy week.

Make Sure You Get Some Downtime Each Weekend

Finally, there’s the need for some downtime on the weekend - whether you realize it or not.

I’m not talking about social downtime - that takes energy!

And I’m not talking about sleep downtime either…

Use Your Weekend Downtime For Mellow Activities

The weekend downtime I’m talking about is mid-level brain engagement.

Activities like free reading, taking a long walk, listening to music….

Watching high-quality shows, documentaries, or classic movies.

Playing board games… and all sorts of other mellow activities like these ones.

You might be learning an instrument for fun, or practicing your cooking skills.

It’s NOT something to do with school, it’s NOT “just sitting around,” and it’s NOT an obligation you have for someone else.

For me, reading, motorcycling, and playing guitar and piano fill this need for an fun activity, but one that’s not too high-pressure (but also not too lazy!)

I want you to pause now for a moment and brainstorm your own ideas for a list of fun, but relaxing downtime activities that fit YOUR personality.

Summary Of Using Your Weekends In High School

Here are the takeaways for this article:

Why Weekends in High School Are Great:

  • Weekends are one of the best times in high school.
  • Weekends are they’re like a “mini holiday” that comes every week.
  • Top priorities for each weekend are to recover, get homework done, and get some personal time.

How to Handle Weekend Schoolwork:

  • Get your homework and studying done as SOON as possible.
  • Get work done when your friends are still sleeping.
  • Work on your SAT and ACT prep on weekends. It’s tough to set aside time during the week.
  • Or, use that time for college and scholarship applications.

Weekend Sports and Activities:

  • Take part in sports and activities that add additional structure to your weekend.
  • But, be careful of the time and energy commitment that these activities require.
  • Don’t overcommit to stuffing your calendar on weekends.

Weekend Social Life in High School:

  • Hang out with your friends in afternoon or evening after you’ve already been productive.
  • Be smart and safe. Don’t get into trouble.
  • Don’t stay up till three in the morning just because it’s the weekend.

Use Weekends for Personal Development:

  • Use your free time for something more worthwhile than just watching TV.
  • Use the weekends to work on your favorite hobbies and interests OUTSIDE of school.
  • Think of weekends as a mini-college preview, since they give a taste of scheduling freedom.

What Do YOU Do With Your Weekends In High School?

So, what do YOU currently do with your weekends in high school?

Do you have a good reason to leap out of bed on Saturday and Sunday?

Or, do you feel like you sleep all weekend long - and maybe it feels like you NEED it?

I’m REALLY curious to hear how you spend the average weekend in high school.

What you think your “ideal” normal weekend would look like?

For most of us, weekends are one of the best things in school and in life.  I think it’s fun to talk about them 🙂

Describe your current weekends and your ideal weekend in the comments section below and I’ll see you in the next article!

Make this year your most productive year ever! Get the complete Time Management for Teens Online Course or order the book on Amazon today.

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