High school is a stressful time in the lives of mostly every teenager. It can be a bit challenging to manage academics and participate in extra-curricular activities while maintaining a social life.
Nevertheless, it is doable. Planning things ahead of time and working according to a schedule can help you to come on the right track. Undoubtedly, grades are an important part of university applications, but they are not the end of the world. Admission procedures at most universities around the world are relatively holistic, and admission officers favor well-rounded applications more than valuing just one aspect. They particularly show interest in knowing students beyond their classrooms; this means they assess what kind of a person the applicant is and what he/she brings to their university.
Having said that, this does not convey the meaning that you are required to take part in every extra-curricular activity offered to you. What's more ideal is that, you can pick one or two activities that stand out to you and do it with consistency and passion. If at all, anything at school does not interest you or your school does not provide enough opportunities, you can always step out of the bubble and explore things all around the world. With an exhilarating rate of technology advancing in today's age, it is easy to find a number of activities to do which can add value to your application. Or, you could also start something of your own, it can simply be an account on Instagram portraying your interests. It is very important to figure out your strengths and work on them for a well-rounded application.
It is understood that life isn't easy for everyone. If you have a specific reason for bad grades, it is always alright to explain them in your application. It could be due to health issues, family or any unforeseen circumstances. A lot of students make the common mistake of not studying for tests and only studying for final exams. This reflects on your transcript as a negative point so avoid that to prevent issues.Challenges and difficulties are part of life, which means they are likely to affect your academic performance. The admission committee likes to see young people overcome their challenges with resilience and bravery. They understand that you are only in your late teenage years, so portraying yourself as a perfectly mature human being won't be the best idea.
Work hard, take breaks and trust the process.