‘WE MUST ALL SUFFER ONE OF TWO THINGS: THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE OR THE PAIN OF REGRET.’ -JIM ROHN
We are living in a brave new world. For most of our educational carriers, many of us have worked for rewards like grades and accolades. When we sent students home earlier this spring, their educational world changed. Many of our students already know that they will most likely pass if they were passing before they left. Underclassmen will still return to high school classes in the fall. They now must choose how much effort they are willing to put into the learning opportunities that are being made available by their teachers.
One of the great motivators for high school students is competition. For some students, this competition comes in the form of athletics, and for others, it may be marching band or a host of other academic and extracurricular options. One thing that they all have in common is that success requires preparation. The student-athletes that continue to prepare will likely be more successful than their peers that make more unfortunate choices. Band students that continue to practice will be further along than other students. In short, preparation matters. The time sacrificed to get better in the offseason matters. The pain associated with the discipline of preparation has a far greater payoff in the long run.
This principle is also true academically. Students that continue to work through this pandemic will be better prepared for the courses they will take in the fall. Math is an excellent example of this process. Each course within a school’s math framework builds on the classes that come before it. So, it is fair to assume that the student taking their Math 3 course after only half a semester of Math 2 will not be nearly as prepared as the students that worked hard in Math 2. A student’s competency determines their grade in a class, and it is difficult to be competent and master a subject without a solid foundation. Not taking classes seriously during this pandemic is the equivalent of building a house with only half a foundation.
The opportunities and limitations created by the events of the last few weeks will stay with us for a while. Many things are outside of our control, including when we lift quarantines or how soon we get back to a more regular schedule. There are choices that we do control. I am so proud of the students that continue to choose to engage with their instructors and continue working. Know that this work will pay off. You will be better prepared for the world that lies ahead because of this decision. Our education costs us our time. The time we spend working now allows us to pay with discipline and preparation. Those students that postpone this payment will pay later when they are expected to work harder to catch up and build the foundation that they could be working on now. Remember, in life, the pain of preparation is always cheaper than the pain of regret.