The Last Word

By Cameron Miller | Posted: Tuesday September 19, 2017

When the time comes will you be ready?

To the seniors of Otago Boys’: I’m sure that by now every single one of you are aware that practice exams are next week, and NCEA examinations soon after that. Around school it is clear that some people are on track, aiming to do as well as they can, and then there are those that think practice exams are some kind of unimportant formality that “doesn’t matter.”

Maybe you'll just wing it and see how it goes. After all, it’s not the real thing is it? I’ll get the broken part of the record out of the way by saying it’s likely someone will break their leg, get poisoned, fall extremely ill, or even worse, tragedy will strike. And by that point, the practice exams results you acquired will be your lifeline, unless you came off second best trying to use your common sense to scrape an achieved.

It’s never too late to start.

To the juniors of Otago Boys’: You are lucky you don’t have the pressure of NCEA sitting on your shoulders this year. Having said that, you will be subject to end of year school exams. Junior exams are a great chance for you to test yourself, but next year if you are a Year 10 or the following year if you are Year 9, there is no second chance when it comes to NCEA, so use this year as an opportunity to put into practice - the reality of the next couple of years and test your abilities under pressure. Don’t be the kid who's too cool to treat junior exams seriously. Be the one who puts their hand up and gives their first proper go at preparing and studying in advance. 

See junior exams as an opportunity rather than burden. If you approach them this way, you’ll be more prepared for the next couple of years. Also, enjoy the quiet time around school in the next couple of weeks while the senior boys are slaving hard over their practice exams. In the next couple of years you might just wish that you had valued your short amount of time as a junior that little bit more.

We should probably stop wasting time. All of us. Get organised, out futures depend on it. The sooner we get something done the more inclined we will be able to get another thing done.

Being organised doesn't just apply to exams. It applies to life. Making sure you get enough sleep is a form of organisation. Being on time to appointments, packing your bag for a trip in advance, being prepared to make decisions - they are all types of organisation.

Often the words from behind this lectern have an initial impact but soon begin to wear off with time as people slip back into normality. It’s inevitable. I only ask that next period or the period after or even after that, when you're thinking about just writing that essay later, doing that math equation later, or even running that circuit later - you give it a second thought.

Why do something later when you can do it now. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Every minute spent organising is an hour earned.”