The “S” Word

The only part of the year I despise more than exam time has dawned; school has officially reopened and the summer holidays are DEAD.

[I mean, summer will be back next year so I guess it’s not technically dead, but hello?? I’m trying to be dramatic here]

Unless you’re a student [or, worse, a teacher], I’m pretty sure you don’t realise the gravity of the situation. This isn’t just the death [okay, okay, temporary absence. Geez]of a regular school break, oh no no no. This is SUMMER, and at the end of summer, comes a brand new academic year, ready to ruin your life in ways you can’t even imagine.

Like every seasoned torturer, though, the fresh school year starts off deceivingly well; crisp, mint-condition notebooks, refilled stationery pouches, a new backpack [if you’re lucky] and the promise of a fresh start. It’s all too good to be true.

Okay, you optimistically think to yourself. My slate has been wiped clean. From this year –no, from this SECOND, I am going to be a changed person. No more last-minute assignments and late submissions. My books will be up-to-date, my lowest test score will be an A++ and every teacher is going to ADORE me. Forget MarioKart, I’m going to be the most studious kid on the block and that’s FINAL.

Needless to say, that’s not going to happen. Two weeks in and you’ve already missed a project deadline, your grade point average is steadily slipping and you’re already planning to move to Canada because you’ve heard they get longer holidays [I’m speaking from experience here].

And I wish I could say it gets better, but who am I kidding?? We’ve all gone through it. We all know how it rolls.

In a blink, it’s time for the mid-terms and the pressure from all sides could turn coal to diamond and the moment THAT’S over everybody immediately plunges head-first into the next semester’s material giving you exactly zero minutes to regain your sanity.

And a flurry of pop quizzes and science exhibitions later, it’s finals week and you’ve barely skimmed through your textbook. A series of all-nighters later, you manage to make it and are in the midst of congratulating yourself for surviving before you realise that your classmates are intently poring through next year’s textbooks and you internally groan.

Not because you forgot to answer the essay question [okay, ALSO because of that] but because you’ve got it; you’ve realised that we’re all so caught up in this wretched rat race that none of us have the time to stop and take a moment to breathe.

Our world has become so incredibly school-centric that’s it’s impossible to ignore the importance of our marks and percentages at every stage of our lives, so I’m not claiming that it’s best to isolate yourself from your homework and run with butterflies instead.

But ignoring the rest of the world and, more importantly, yourself in pursuit of a 100/100 is probably not the wisest course of action, either.

It’s finding that blissful in-between that’s the important part.

It’s beyond crucial to be able to strike an even balance between the two; yin and yang, black and white, chemistry equations and reading Dan Brown. I know that if we stop wasting time on YouTube and start managing our time effectively, we can do both so why not give it a shot [yes, I know I sound like your Mom]??

And now’s the perfect time to start. All those incomplete notebooks from last year can be safely forgotten because it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life and I’m feeling good [yes, I just quoted a Michael Bublé song. Deal with it].

Let’s stop fearing the S word and embrace it instead [I’ve just realised that there’s a possibility for misunderstanding. By the S word, I mean school. School, guys], because the moment we start, wonderful things are going to happen. I just know it.

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