Ah, the famous line your uncle Bob always tells you when he says goodbye to you at the family reunion… “Don’t do drugs, stay in school.” As cliché as he might sound, it’s the truth. In order to do well in life, you’ve got to lay off the bad stuff and focus on the good so you can prosper and shine bright like Vaseline on someone’s forehead.
Although, attaining to good comes at a price! So on the eve of the new academic year that starts tomorrow here in South Africa, I’m going to give the school-goers some essential tips as to how you can survive 2018, perform your best and avoid as many existential crises as possible.
So I know in my school, there are 3 elements that are evident. These 3 elements all play a role in developing students into holistic individuals that can go out and become something in the world. Those elements are academics, sport and culture.
I recently asked two people that are close to me in school what tips they can give in terms of excelling in these areas.
Michaela Erlank, who has placed several times at the top of the top 10 in her grade, gives her 5 tips to academic success.
“I’ve never had to put it into words before because😂😂 honestly, studying isn’t fun and I think everyone knows that 😂🤷 it’s just a case of being able to create opportunities for yourself after school … like getting into the university of your choice for the degree you want 🤔🤔 and my parents are very supportive, like they never pressurize me to be in Top 10 and they don’t get angry when I don’t do well on a test or whatever 🤔😂 and on top of that, my friend group helps to motivate me, because we all like to do well at school (not that I use them for their smarts) but it never hurts to surround yourself with people who have ambition 💪💪😂 so I guess that would be 3 things already:
1. Focus on your future. (even though it sounds cheesy)
2. Don’t be unrealistic about your goals.
3. Surround yourself with people who motivate you. And another huge thing is :
4. Plan your time efficiently.
5. Still, find time to do things you enjoy. (because I love reading and life would not be fun for me without books) 😂😂
A bonus tip… is to find what study method works for you, because we all have different ways of retaining information🤔🤔😂 suppose you could get all of these tips from an LO book 😂🤷“
Storm Sinclair, who is part of their school’s 2018 1st Team Girl’s Hockey, and has been awarded player of the match countless times before, shares their tips as to how they maintain good sportsmanship on the field.
“Field Hockey has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s a way for me to get all my frustrations out but it’s also a way for me to have a good time with my teammates. In a sport like Hockey you need teamwork otherwise, the dream just doesn’t work. Having good relationships with your teammates not only improves the game, but it’s also a great way to make friends. Your team is with you throughout the season, it really makes everything horrible if everyone has a disagreement all the time. Compromising is key and overall trust in your teammates will guarantee a great season.
Of course, there is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’, but your individual skill does matter. “Practice makes perfect” is a line I’ve heard many times throughout my years playing hockey, and it is definitely true. If you ever find yourself struggling to master a trick or simply just getting fit and ready for the season, get a buddy you trust – or you can go to your coach – someone you know will help you improve on things that need improving, or if you can’t, search things on YouTube! It has definitely saved me a few times. Of course, practice is there so that you can work on things, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time, practising at home definitely does not go to waste!”
For the last element of school life, I guess I could give you my own advice as to how you can flourish as a Culture Vulture.
My advice to you is, don’t be afraid. Other people in school always tend to treat the actors, singers and speakers like they’re a bit crazy. Some are going to laugh, but when you do decide to get up on that stage, take pride and show them what’s been brewing inside. (Even though it feels like your left ventricle is about to explode from your heart beating so fast.)
Always make room for criticism, and realize that there will always be somebody who’s better than you and that is okay. Never lose love and passion for what you do, for singing, acting and speaking all require a different part of yourself that some never explore. Never become too arrogant and always appreciate the gift you have. Remember, once you achieve success, let that become your new zero or starting point. Then you can start at the bottom each time, but raise the roof once you’re finished. Let that be a continual cycle.
Scout out the older students in your school who you know are really involved with culture. Go talk to them, ask them how they do what they do, and how they build their technique. They’ve usually been under good counsel from great teachers and coaches, so I’m sure they can help you in learning how to calm your nerves, memorize that line better or hit that really high note. Remember, the culture side of the school is always nicer when you have friends that can share the stage with you.
Along with all these tips, I’d like to share with you all a poem I wrote not too long ago about drugs and the consequence of choosing to partake in that lifestyle. I thought the poem is actually quite appropriate for this blog post’s title.
So, here it is…
“I’m poor and I’m broke and yes I do coke.
No, not the type you drink with your friends, but the type that takes you round the town’s bends.
Deliver me Satan I snort it, it’s 3 am again and I’m short it.
I’m a toxic child you know, out of dungeons my weeds grow. Stop pretending my walk of life is something you know. You know it all.
Are you just going to stand back and watch me fall? Too late, today my child began to crawl.
Sniff, snuff, snort. Oh damn, I just got caught. Not red-handed by the cops, but by the Lord Almighty whose humanly sentences he justly full stops.”
Copyright © Douglas Vrey, 2018
So without making this blog post any longer, I’d just like to wish all my school going readers a successful and bright year ahead. Let’s kick the procrastination, bad attitude and unwillingness to learn, and welcome in a mindset of renewal and contentment within ourselves to attain great results. I’m wishing you all the best for the new year, and I sincerely hope you reach all your goals.
And remember, “don’t do drugs, stay in school”
Yours in Madness.
The Bohemian Poet