Academic Captain – Junior School Address


Kia ora Junior School! It is crazy to believe that we are already on our 5th week of Term 1, and I’m aware that many of you have gotten well into the school system and are starting to truly experience college life through homework, tests, and whatnot. You year 10’s will already be used to how college works, but personally even as a year 13 I am still trying to figure some things out in my fifth year here. Something that I have learnt over my time at Newlands is that school definitely isn’t one easy cruise along the waterfront; like anything you do in life there are challenges and obstacles you must face – but hopefully today, from an academic point of view, I’m here to share with you my 3 easy steps for school success that might make your time here a bit easier, or less stressful, or even if you just want to look at the memes that’s cool too.


My first step that I think is crucial for anything you want to do is to establish a goal. Goals are important because they keep us on track and make sure we’re doing what we have to do. I don’t just mean, for example, setting a goal to do your homework every night. I want you to think about the wider purpose of a goal you set. This could be a purpose for a short term goal; so maybe actually doing your homework every night for the rest of the week, but so that you won’t have any to do this weekend when it’s your friend’s birthday party. This could be a purpose for a long term goal such as getting 62 excellence credits in Year 11 because did you know that Victoria University hands you five thousand dollars just like that if you do? Which means you won’t have to work as much when you’re out of school and will have more time to do other things you like, such as go to your friend’s birthday party in the weekend. Goals are important to set, but what is the purpose of them if there is no purpose behind them?


My second step for school success is to manage your time wisely. I’m not going to give you a lecture on why you should stay off of Instagram or Snapchat and open a book because truthfully I am not the best role model for staying off social media. You know yourself best so that self-control is on you. I do however, have tricks that I do to maximise the learning I get done even when I’m not sitting at my desk. When I’m walking home from school,  I might practice my lines that I have to memorise for a play in drama. When I’m doing the dishes at home or at work, I might go over the different atoms of the periodic table in my head. Time management can be about, but is not exclusive to, separating all the different things that you do into little slots in your calendar. I like to look at it as, “How can I make the most out of my 24 hours in a day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing?”


The last step for school success that I believe in is to find your passion. Not everyone decides what they want to do after college while they’re in college, but a step to getting there is to immerse yourself in activities that you are passionate about. Learning is not limited to sitting 6 hours in class each day; this school offers a plethora of sporting opportunities, clubs such as creative writing and philosophy club and competitions like chess comps and gaming tournaments that you can get yourself involved in. You might not win every game you play or ace every test you sit, but you will be surprised about how many different things you will learn through extra curricular activities that you can apply to your academic learning, as well as expanding on your overall growth as a student. Find your passion… and learn in the process.


To conclude, I hope you reflect on these three steps that might help you as they’ve helped me: Establishing a purpose for a goal, maximising your time wisely, and finding your passion and learning from it. Remember that if plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters. I’d like to leave you with some wise words from my friend DJ Khaled: “You smart. You very smart. You the best”. Thank you.


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