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It's About Time

January 2019
by Ashley Stokes
2018–2019 National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms

"It is amazing what you could accomplish in 2019—and beyond."

Every day when I come home from school, the first thing I do is check if we have sweet tea. If we do not, I must decide whether it is worth it to spend five minutes making more tea—or if I will go without my daily dose of tea. Neither choice is better than the other, but my decision is based simply on what I would value at that moment in time: five extra minutes of freedom, or sweet tea. However, I can’t be mad that I do not have tea—if I decide not to make it.

The key to time management is knowing what you value and dedicating the appropriate amount of time toward each of your priorities. I am in a sport season throughout the entire school year. Combined with junior year classes and TSA, this means often I have to choose among events. I have missed basketball practice for TSA conferences. This has resulted in less playing time for me, but I am not upset about that because my priority is TSA—not basketball.

There is always something you give up with every choice. To study for tests, you might give up time with your friends, or even sleep. The question is, “Is it worth it?” For many things, the answer is “Yes.” In my opinion, it is worth it to give up sports time—for TSA or sleep—in order to try to ace a test. However, it might not be worth it to skip your math homework, to catch the last episode of a TV series.

When I was in middle school, my brothers would argue over what I would do in high school. My brother Steven supported my dream of becoming a national TSA officer like he had been. My brother Andrew supported my goal to play high school sports like he did. I was determined to become a three-sport athlete and a national TSA officer. After all, there are 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. If you budget your time and really think about what each priority in your life is worth, it is amazing what you could accomplish in 2019—and beyond.