After completing 11 years of never ending torture , you finally reach the penultimate year . Everything has been building up to this fateful period in your life known as matric ( as if you didn’t already know I was in grade 12 what with my never-ending sighs and lack of posts).
At the beginning of almost every school year you prep yourself , armed with an arsenal of freshly labelled stationery and the fleeting memories of your short-lived summer holiday , but mostly with a new mind-set to finally accomplish those sought after academic goals , yet sadly you never do. Almost everyone I knew had told me that grade 11 would be harder than matric and I would very much like to throw my every- growing piles of work at them , for they couldn’t have been any more wrong (granted I didn’t as hard as I should have last year and made no changes to my full-proof strategy for high school survival).
Now , however due to the not so subtle comments from pretty much every family member in existence about how ” it’s matric this year hey , you must work hard” (gee thanks it’s not like I wasn’t aware that my future was at stake or anything , also isn’t it lovely how suddenly your grandmothers second cousin twice removed now is aware that you walk the earth just because you’re in matric) , I sort of lost my point with all those side comments but anyway , these remarks have jolted me into a plan of action and have left me gnawing at my hair due to devastatingly increased amounts of stress. The fact of the matter is , I have finally changed my ways , it turns out the leopard can change its spots provided that they become overwhelmed by the fear of failure . However , it is not only I who has changed but those around me too.
Here are a few examples :
1.(the most horrific of all) I ACTUALLY DO HOMEWORK
As it turns out doing your homework is beneficial for you (who knew). For the first time in 11 years I feverishly jot down my homework in a diary and when I get home a designated time is assigned as if it were series watching time. My obsession with homework has reached new lengths and somehow I have grown a conscious and feel guilty if my page stares blankly at me . During June exams my very essay in English paper 3 was written from the perspective of homework ( I kid you not). Basically the moral of the story is homework is here to help , don’t leave it to the… .. last minute ( sorry I almost choked typing that because it felt so unnatural).
2. YOU DO WORK IN YOUR FREE LESSONS
Remember the chorus of joyful cheers when you find out that your teacher is absent and you have a free lesson , well this still exists but the lessons are no longer spent chatting away to your friends or reading a captivating book , rather you spend them doing homework or studying or making summaries . Some days in great times of need I found myself praying we had a free lesson just so I could catch up on work.
3. YOU DONT TRY TO DISTRACT YOUR TEACHER ANYMORE
If you go to a normal high school , at some point your class pretended to care about how well your teachers weekend went or started complaining about the school and other teachers just to waste time and avoid doing work , well my dear friends , those days are but distant , hazy memory . The race to complete the syllabus has been made increasingly difficult as the greatest opponent being time seems to be in sync with Usain Bolt. Now , you understand that if you don’t shut up and endure boring lessons it is only you who suffer the consequences (ie. failure)
4. YOUR PARENTS SYMPATHISE WITH YOU
In-between their questions as to whether I have studied or not my parents occasionally provide me with some extra support .
All my favourite study snacks ? sure
Pancakes for breakfast before a chemistry exam ? sure
A massage ? WHY THE HELL NOT?
I advise everyone to play the sympathy ” I am so stressed and overwhelmed” card because it can also be handy in getting out of family functions and chores.
5. YOUR SOCIAL LIFE AND HOBBIES TAKE A BACK SEAT
Not that I have much of a social life anyway , but the little that I did muster has been reduced down to a tiny little speck. The time I would usually spend mindlessly watching tv series or reading is not allocated to homework and sleep ( don’t get me wrong though I am still up to date with everything I assure you). The simple pleasures in life like a sleepy day in is now spent figuring out how to juggle the mess that is your life.
6. THE SLACKERS ARE WORKING
Ever notice that group of people with that “too cool for school attitude” who never did homework , constantly talked during a lesson and winged all their exams ? well they too have had the wake up call and are suddenly the ones “shhing” you .
7. WHATSAPP GROUP CHATS ARE LIKE HOMEWORK CENTRES
Forget discussing the latest news in pop culture now conversations go more along the lines of :
” I need help”
“anyone have the answer to 1.1.4″
” send me a picture of your answer please”
Well , that’s all my brain can seem to muster at this point in time . I hope some of you relate to the above mentioned struggles and changes . Most importantly goodluck for the rest of this school year and remember to make the most of what is left ( yes , I went there)