The 'Matric class' of this year has started the final 'lap' of school life. It's been a long journey of some 12 years. This year will draw the curtain down on a fascinating phase of life. School is not always exciting, but it is an essential part of growth and development of a person, to take one to new heights and prepare one academically and intellectually for life ahead.
Planning & Programming
Dear Matriculant, this is your chance - a year to put aside all your setbacks and disappointments of the past, if any, and make the year count. With the help of Allah Ta'ala, your commitment and sustained learning routine will determine how you perform in the final examination.
A carefully planned and implemented routine can mean the difference between failure and success. Having a steadfast programme of learning will reduce your stress and worries and give you confidence as the year draws to an end.
The year will be over in a flash, and before you know it you will be sitting for the trial examination and the finals. Time is of essence and the sooner you get going with your learning routine the better. Dedicate this year to your studies.
Fulfil all your obligations
Whilst focusing on your academic achievements, it is essential to bear in mind that as a Muslim you have more responsibilities than just studying and achieving academic success. You have obligations and responsibilities to your Creator, parents, teachers, friends and others in society. Part of your daily programme should be to have a cheerful countenance, display noble conduct and to be generous and forgiving. Importantly, there can be no compromise on fulfilment of obligations to Allah Ta'ala, the foremost of these being performing the five daily Salaah, abstaining from all sins and conducting yourself in an Islamic manner. Much of your long term success will depend on this.
Matric is the ideal time
Being the last year of school, matric is an ideal time to set right things in terms of discipline, commitment, goal setting and overall achievement. It is the right time to make resolutions about committing to future success and life choices. This year could define the outcome and direction of things you will do in the future. So you need to be smart and wary of not letting the year slip away through peer pressure, time wasting and doing things without purpose or focus.
Needless to say there will be those who don't care about what happens, they have no sense of direction in terms of what they really want to achieve, and they may be looking for some company to join them in their road to nowhere. Be cautious and wary of such individuals as peer pressure can be imposing. You may try to guide them but not at the cost of your own progress and success.
The following steps will assist you to organise yourself and achieve well in the coming year:
Identify your goals for the year
Your goals should be realistic and achievable. It's a good idea to write down your goals and display them where you can see them every day. This reminder will become your motto for the year. Never lose focus of your goals, as they will drive and motivate you through the tough times.
Have a dedicated study area
A desk or table in a quiet room is preferable, if possible. You will require some stationery as well. A variety of pens, highlighters and notepads will be sufficient. Laying on your bed or on the couch is not conducive for a productive study session. You will slouch, your notes will be difficult to manage and you will inevitably become lethargic and sleepy. If you do not have access to a dedicated space, identify a space that works for you, (even the kitchen table).
Do not eliminate all social activity from your schedule as this will make you bored and frustrated. It's important to include some light leisure and rest into your learning plan. However, be selective about what you allow into your schedule and what not. Allocate a minimum amount of time for this.
Stick to your schedule to maintain momentum
Just having a glorius learning plan is not sufficient – to implement it is essential. Summarise your day's work and make short notes for revision of important points. These notes will help you closer to the exams. Make revision a routine. Like brushing your teeth, daily revision is a no compromise part of your routine.
From start to finish
So the big race has started – the finish line is not far away. Start your year as you hope to finish, and remain focused. This is a very important year, and you will have plenty of time to relax at the end of it. Many top matric achievers have spoken about hard work, commitment and sacrifice that brought them the results they enjoyed.
Abstention from sin and vice
The golden rule for matric and ultimately for life is to abandon sin. No matter how much you have sinned, never abandon the effort to stay away from sin. Repent everyday and renew your pledge with your Creator to strive for His pleasure and abandon disobedience. This effort is a lifelong struggle that ultimately determines who you are.
Recitation of duas
Learn and read the recommended duas that will assist you to draw from the special mercy of Allah Ta'ala. Dua is the weapon of a believer and a means of communicating with our Creator, who is the source of all knowledge and goodness in our life. Developing the capacity to make dua constantly will be one of the most profound achievements of your life.
The ultimate goal
Ultimately as Muslims, we have divinely defined goals and purpose. Our life, goals and vision must conform to these values, otherwise no amount of academic achievement will bring us any joy or success. True success and achievement is to do everything in conformity with the command of Almighty Allah and for Him to be pleased with us.
May Allah Ta'ala grant you complete success in your year ahead and accept you for service of Islam and humanity.
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