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Time for a New Year Plan

August, 2011
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You: Realize that the summer holidays are over.

The months have never passed this quickly. It feels as if it were only yesterday when you finally absconded from the school gates, embracing the holidays, and yet you find yourself peering at the beginning of another school year. This is all too soon. You waste a few minutes wishing you had a time machine. Then, deciding to do something more relevant, you realize that you have barely begun concocting your plans yet.

You: Sit back and eat pretzels.

That is no way to concoct a plan for any upcoming school year!

You: Consider the effects of a lack of planning

Unfortunately, it happens that plans for upcoming school years don’t exist – as far as the majority of teenagers are concerned. School days come and go, and you roll along (and occasionally rap) to the music of life, hoping that the good will last, the bad will leave, and that the ugly will undergo miracles. Great chunks of time, you see, are often wasted in this preposterous manner before the unenlightened fully understand the importance of planning. You wonder if daydreaming counts as planning.

You: Investigate the effects of planning

The first thing that often comes to mind when the word “plan” is uttered, sadly, is “a complete waste of time”. After all, plans take valuable time to create, and very few of them are realized in the end. This, however, is far from an ideal picture that I have painted, and it certainly isn’t the way you want your upcoming school-year plans to end up. Plans rescue you from preposterous time-wasting, give you something to work towards and serve as a constant self-reminder (Needless to say, it is essential that you do not ignore your own advice in times of your self-dubbed adversity). Long-winded lecture cut short, well-made plans—like goals—are guidelines that will lead you to success and organization.

To prove that you are indeed an organized individual who has experience with planning, you decide to:

You: Concoct a Strategic Plan for the upcoming school year.

After two long years of hard work and preparing for the IGCSEs, it’s finally time to put that behind you and focus on what’s ahead—the notorious and yet exciting IB Diploma program. With the heartening thought that the year isn’t going to be a cakewalk, you pick up your productivity from where you left it and set to work.

This year, you’re going to work harder and become more efficient. That would mean putting a stop to preposterous time-wasting and making full use of your free periods to study and do homework! You harden your resolve to survive in HL Math. You vow to pay more attention than you actually have, but that would be absurd. Instead, you vow to be diligent and active in your classes so that you may prevail in the uphill struggle of learning. You also decide to make use of your free time and review material that you have learned in school each day—not to mention, complete your homework to the highest standards possible. It sounds absolutely terrifying, but at you will definitely cut down on your Internet time.

That aside, you feel strangely eager to involve yourself in more school activities. You decide to run for Student Council again, and hopefully provide aid in organizing events. This is surely going to be a great opportunity to learn to be (even more) responsible; life skills are every bit as important as your schoolwork and must not be overlooked. You also want to use this opportunity to get involved in more community work. Charities! Bake sales! Talent shows! …The endless possibilities fuel you with renewed energy! You cannot wait to spread your good ideas. In fact, you’re going to email everyone you know right now and…

These prospects fill you with excitement! With the beginning of the IB, you will be turning over a new leaf. Gone will be the procrastination, the laziness, the time-wasting. In its place, diligence and responsibility and activity! You upset your plate of pretzels in disgust at your previous apathy. This year, you’re going to stick to your awesome plans. This year, you’re going to be the best you have ever been.

Who said that plans were useless? You’ll show them…

You: Embrace the future.

By Amy Bu,

Shanghai United International School

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