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Back to School -- Get Ahead

I think that most students are back to school for the fall. I went to college and graduate school for eight years, so here is a small piece of advice:

Get ahead and stay ahead!

If you get ahead, it is easy to stay ahead. But if you fall behind, it is very hard to catch up. Work hard during the first few weeks of the semester and the last few weeks will be easier.

You should also try to get the best grades possible during the beginning of your high school or college years. If you get a 4.0 the first year, it is not so hard to maintain it. But if you get a 1.0, you will be saying, "If I can just get straight A's for the next 3 years, I might be able to bring my average up to a 3.25." It is very hard, and stressful, to play catch up.

So get ahead and stay ahead.

This also applies in other aspects of life, particularly in work. If an assignment is due next Friday, why not have it ready by next Wednesday? That way you will have some time to improve it or change it if necessary. But if you wait until the last minute, there will be no leeway.

I am reminded of Chotoku Kyan's saying that if another student practices three times, he would practice seven times. Kyan Sensei was very small but became a very powerful and skilled Karate expert... by his effort.

As a Karate person, I am very passive. But as a college student, I was very aggressive, particularly with tests. Attack schoolwork with the ferocity of a top MMA fighter! Choke those assignments out! Make tests tap out!

Get ahead and stay ahead! Don't fall behind and stay behind!


Charles C. Goodin