I wasn’t born a brilliant, but I wasn’t slow either. My parents didn’t put me in some special school that will enhance my brain development or give me organic foods. They raised me regularly, as a regular child with regular capabilities.
But as I began to attend school, I was deemed as one of the top students in the class. I was never the number one, but I always made it to top 10 (out of 30 to 40-ish students). And yes, I did go out with my friends, attended parties, had sleepovers, joined some clubs and school committees.
I wasn’t really the typical smart student who has answers for everything (I was really bad at math) and always stuck in a book and have an unpleasant personality. But, I never failed a single class and I can still count with my fingers the only times I had grades below the passing grade.
My friends who were lazier (I don’t want to call them slow, because I know they aren’t, they just lack a commitment) wondered how I managed to not fail my academics and still have a healthy social life. Because let’s be honest, who’d not be distracted by the latest gossip of an ex’s new girlfriend over studying some chromosomes?
I think it has a lot to do with my reason behind studying: I know that if my academics are fine, I will have more freedom to do what I’m more interested in.
When I was in high school, a neighbour of mine created a tiny school for children who live along the railroads near our neighbourhood. She opens her class every Tuesday and Thursday around 3 or 4 PM in the afternoon.
I attended her class a time or two and I just want to go back again and again. The children, despite their harsh life, managed to keep a smile on their tiny faces and laugh at each other’s jokes. They were always happy when my neighbour came and open her class. She told me that one of her students now have a steady job at a restaurant; a job that was out of reach if you cannot read and write.
I wanted to help her so badly, but I get off from school around 2.45 PM and I have to stop by my house first to get changed and eat. It was easier for her to make time because she was a college student and had a more flexible schedule.
I have a non-school related interest in volunteering to teach the railroads children. But I also have an obligation to finish my school well. So, the only way I can make time for the children is by being effective with my school time.
There were times when I fail an exam and I have to retake it after school. It means that I have to spend more hours at school and more allocate more time and energy to study.
So, I make sure to pass all of the exams. I don’t want to retake the exams or study twice anymore because I want to save my time and energy for something else now.
This pattern continues until I grow up and have a job. It got easier when I was in college, but when I have a 9-to-5 job, it gets more challenging. Since I get home after dusk now, I can only allocate my weekends to teach. That’s why I try to finish all of my work on the weekdays, so I can spend the whole weekends with the children--who aren’t so little, now that they’ve become teenagers!
My point is prioritise something you are obliged to do and be effective about it, so you can allocate your time to make a good impact for others.