DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year-old girl -- a straight-A student in the eighth grade. Most of my teachers like me, but I am overscheduled.
I do swimming five times a week. To prepare for the Advanced Placement test, I have German lessons every Wednesday. I have orchestra rehearsal every Saturday morning and sailing class every Sunday. I also take private violin lessons that I must practice for.
I love swimming, but if I go less often, I will be kicked off the team. The German class is something my mom insists on, and I don't mind it too much. I like being musical, and my violin teacher insists I play in the orchestra. Sailing is my passion. I am nationally ranked, and it keeps me going.
I manage this schedule, but some time for myself would be much appreciated. Any ideas, Abby? -- STRESSED IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR STRESSED: It appears you excel at everything, and frankly, just reading your schedule makes me tired. While all of your activities will look good on a college application, you do appear to be overscheduled. A talk with a school counselor might help you better prioritize your interests -- and that's what I recommend you do before you burn out.