The Finish Line

2 Timothy 4:7

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Everywhere you go, there is publications, magazine’s, advertisements and social media promoting you can have it all, if you sacrifice, . Well to be quite honest, in my opinion – you can’t, you can’t do it all and in these last days of school, you definitely can’t have it all. You can’t enjoy the new experiences of adult hood whilst being at school for 5 hours a day, studying till all hours of the evening, exercise, work part time and have a social life. Admit it. You have too much planned, and you know, no one’s going to come along and give you extra days of study, extra time to complete your work and extend deadlines till forever. There’s a good chance you’ll lose time though: Whole college assemblies, guest speakers, end-of-year celebrations, Formal, farewell rites of passage, additional tutoring, extra shifts and birthday events to celebrate. These events seem to appear every other day or so in these final days when we’re already trying to do too much.

To add to the stress, some of your friends’ wheels are coming off the wagon. Normally motivated and in-control peers are losing their mojo, and some of the students who grew so much socially and emotionally seem to be right back to where they were in Y11.

To make matters worse, you’re exhausted. It’s the final km of the marathon, and you’re not sure if you can make it. So, what’s a well-intentioned but completely overwhelmed student to do? How can you not just survive these last days, but succeed—making the end of the year positive and productive for you and your parents and teachers? Teaching for over 20 years and seeing these times come and go; here are a few ideas to consider.

Prioritise. Make decisions about what’s most important and what’s realistic. Also decide what not to do. Take a deep breath and don’t feel guilty.

Reinforce your routines. Even the most disciplined student would feel somewhat nervous as the end of the year approaches. For most students, the last few weeks can be hard to handle. Familiar routines will help you normalise feelings and emotions

Be consistent with discipline. It can be tempting to let small things slide as the end of the year approaches, but this can spell disaster regarding examinations and assessment times. Small lapses of discipline like staying up late a few nights will undoubtedly be a cost paid at the other end of the day which can quickly lead to more complicated issues, like sleeping in and missing an exam.

Take care of yourself. Eat well. Sleep. Hydrate. Exercise. These practices will boost your energy levels and help you handle this naturally stressful time of year more positively and professionally. The human body is an astounding and sophisticated machine. At the service of life —our life, our body allows us to observe the birds flying overhead, to hear the first word of a child, to taste Snags at a Bunnings carpark, smell the sweet scent of roses, to touch a mother’s cheek and feel the rain on ours. It is the violin on which life sets its bow to allow us to dance, run, love, sleep and dream.  Focus more on how we can impact our classrooms, our school, and our community.

The way your year ends can make a lasting impression on the people around you, your friends, your loved ones maybe some of the teachers that helped you get there.

When the last bell rings for you at school & you have done everything asked of you, you will feel confident, relaxed, connected with others, nostalgic, proud, and excited for what lies ahead. In the New Testament Paul writes to Timothy and encourages him, to finish well, finish strong and finish the race.

Edmunds to the Fore.

Tim MacArthur 
Head of Rice House