The Last Word

By Samuel Thompson | Posted: Sunday August 11, 2019

Picture the situation: It’s the first day of term three.

You’ve just come back to school off a fulfilling and relaxing holiday. You sit down in your first class, ready to give it your all for another term of learning. You open up your textbook and.. the feelings gone. Instantly, you wish you were back in Australia, or Europe, or Gore, or sitting in your pyjamas watching Love Island on your couch. I know, I’ve been there. In fact, I had this feeling a mere three weeks ago. There I was, someone who thrives on academics, barely able to muster the energy to raise a pen. What went wrong?

It was then that I realized I was sleep deprived. One too many late nights through the holidays had set me up for failure by sapping my energy for the first day of school. It’s not like I don’t understand how to get a good night’s sleep – the classic culprits of using my phone before bed or a late-night coffee or energy drink are easy to omit once you’re looking for them. Instead, the problem was my time management.

Over the holidays I made the mistake of trying to spend more time than I could afford to. I was staying up until 1, 2, 3 am every night, only to sleep in until the afternoon of the next day. Instead of making time, I was simply pushing the hours I had later into the day. And by the time school came around this seemingly harmless schedule I had become so accustomed to led me to day one term three, unable to focus in class. I doubt I’m the only one who had this experience.

And I’m sure you’ve all heard a speech about time before. However, with practice exams around the corner I think the message stands true: you really don’t know how little time you have until you’re sitting in the Shand with the paper in front of you. Imagine it like a timeline, starting at this moment right now and ending at exams. No matter what happens to you in particular over the next 6 weeks, all of us will reach this endpoint at the same rate. How much you choose to prepare is entirely up to you, and time won’t stop just so you can get some extra study time.

Even if you aren’t sitting exams, or you don’t care how well you do, this mindset is a huge part of preparing for any looming task. It could be the start of a practical course, or maybe the first day of a new job. Time is the most valuable resource we have. You can’t buy it or sell it, and all you can do is spend it the best you can, so make sure it doesn’t go to waste.