Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Former Tormenter Reaches out to Well-Off Reader

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m a high school student struggling with finding a balance between school, basketball practice and work. I take about three AP classes, and by the time I'm done with my activities, I tend to be too tired to complete my school assignments on time.

Every time I get the chance to take a break, I find myself going straight to sleep when I know that my sleeping hours should be used to complete work. Basketball is the only way that I know I can get into my dream school. Keeping my job is a must because I need the money to help support my mom and me at home. Do you have any tips on how I can balance roles of a student, athlete and employee at the same time? -- Unbalanced, Cleveland

DEAR UNBALANCED: Your goals are admirable, but you may be hurting yourself by taking on so much. If you are unable to keep up good grades because you are too tired to manage your life, that is a clear sign that something has to give. Speak to your guidance counselor and develop a strategy to get to college. You may want to take one fewer AP course so that you can have time to focus on the other two. You may need to cut your work hours a bit to add an hour or two back in for sleep and homework. Refine your schedule so that you can manage it.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)