Message from the Deputy Head: Academics | Maritzburg College

Message from the Deputy Head: Academics

Message from the Deputy Head: Academics

You are not alone; Don’t give up

No one would have chosen for 2020 to turn out the way it has, our world has been turned upside down, and we are facing a crisis on a global scale the likes of which have not been seen before.

You are not alone; more than 300 million students worldwide have had their education disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. More than 90% of the global student population is affected by Covid-19 related school closures, and the world is in the throes of an unprecedented disruption in the history of education.

What does set you apart from thousands of other South Africans however is that you attend a great school. Academically, we have a choice in this situation:

We can easily fall into a kind of victim mentality and ask ourselves:

  • Why me in my matric year?
  • Why me in my first year at College?
  • Why me?

This “why me” option leads to a spiral of low motivation, low effort and low results. It is very difficult to rise above this, and after a while, it will set you up for a very disappointing set of results in November.

The other option is for you to look inside yourselves and to dig deep…ask yourself,

  • Have you used your school’s resources to the best of your ability?
  • Have you used your teachers’ support?
  • Have you persevered until you do understand?
  • Have you worked with commitment until the work is complete?
  • Have you asked for help when you need it?

The reason I ask you these questions today is that digging deep requires strength of character:

  • it takes courage
  • it takes self-discipline
  • and it takes commitment

Trials and challenges teach us what we are; they force us to look inside, and to see what we are really made of. In these uncertain times, we must take one day at a time, but start now! Do not lose sight of your goals and persevere as you work towards them. If you do these things this year, you will be able to look back on 2020 as a year in which you have experienced significant growth, a year in which you have matured and developed through adversity and you will be stronger and better equipped to face the years ahead.

Fifth form, you are heading into some of the most important examinations of your life. These exam results will open or close the doors to your future studies. Make sure that your results in December 2020 are worthy of judging you by, as it is these results that will be used to apply at universities and other tertiary institutions.

For our matrics, the end is in sight. Maya Angelou said:

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Do not let COVID define your matric year; do not succumb to the victim mentality. Finish strong and hold onto the hopes and dreams that you had at the start of this year. Do not lose focus when you are right at the finish line. Continue working hard and remain focused. There are greater things that await you on the other side of COVID-19 and matric – let those be your motivation.