Make or Break by Neill Hamandishe


14 June 2017

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Make or Break by Neill

Most people view success as a level of achievement to be attained while a few think of it as being out of the reach of failure. Success in its pure form however, is above the expectations of attainment and undoubtedly surpasses the mediocrity of avoiding failure. To be absolute and forthright, one might attain much and another escape falling to a certain level and none of them be successful. So then, what is success? Success is a lifestyle. An everyday course of hurdles and pitfalls, hills and flat land which is to be run countless times for those in pursuit of success.


Beginning is a key to everything. There are times when we might feel like starting something new is impossible. As does ending a bad habit, building a lifestyle of success does not come easy. Being a Christian I often find myself quoting the Bible which says ‘Let us make men in our own image.’ My intentions are not to offend those who are not followers of Christianity but just to drive a simple point home. Clearly from the above paraphrased quote, in the beginning God made a plan. It follows that as the architect of your intended lifestyle you should make a plan first. Most people believe in writing it down, but others as myself envision it and keep it at heart. I personally prefer picturing my destination in my mind than writing it down because that means I carry my plan everywhere I go. So first step is planning. My advice to you is that you not just plan, but plan sensible .If you can imagine it then you can be it. Set out a study timetable which is flexible, one you can swap around entries depending on current needs. Allocate more time to areas that you know require more attention. Do respect that timetable as it brings a degree of organisation into your academic life.


Another stepping stone to “making it” has been labelled by most as working hard. It is undeniable that working hard yields good results. The secret to maintaining and improving any result however is working smart. A hard working student might as well study a text book from cover to cover. A smart working student however, as I strive to be, has a guideline to begin with. Whilst textbooks have a lot of information, it proves to be overwhelming in some cases. That’s where the designated syllabi come into play. So another vital step is to know what you are expected to know. First focus on syllabi demands when going through a study session. When you find yourself going through notes aimlessly, as I often did, find your compass which is the syllabus.


When aiming for success be it academic or in some other area there is a deadly syndrome you will definitely encounter and possibly succumb to. It is commonly know as procrastination but I prefer to simplify it as the “I will do it” syndrome. The word later is not even necessary in my nickname for procrastination as the highlighted will already suggests a later time. The best time to complete any task, given you have none presently at hand, is NOW. To quit this habitual loop of procrastination you need great will power and the discipline to do it NOW.


Attention, yet another ingredient to cooking a successful lifestyle. Paying close attention to my teachers and the seemingly useless and minute details was of much help to me. Texts might feed you data but teachers process that data into understandable and crucial information. If you do not pay attention then you will pay for it. Which brings me to sleeping patterns and diet. Though I have no medical background I can safely assure you that learning on an empty stomach or a bursting one are not conducive to maximising potential. Neither are attending lessons or studying whilst half awake. If you have to read the same line ten times just to get an idea on what it says and your eyes are heavy, it’s time to call it a day.


Doing four subjects is not a breeze but it may well be rewarding and enjoyable given you strike a balance. Students may, as I noticed from personal tendencies, focus more on a subject they like more than others or on one in which they perform less than the rest. A balance has to be struck to ensure success. Just because you might have done wonderfully in one subject and not so good in another does not give leeway to study only what you deemed as not so good. Even what you excelled in the last time demands revisiting. Summer isn’t all year round, neither are autumn and spring. Owing to this fact, winter will come. There will be times when you fall and all the input seems wasted and not producing much. Life wasn’t designed to be easy and neither was Advanced level. In these times, I remembered by grand plans, my schemes and that kept me going. Which is why making a plan worth continuing for is important. Just acknowledge that you only really fail when you stop trying.


In as much as we all appreciate the company of some people, it is also vital to appreciate the fact that these very same people affect how we do things. The kind of associations you have with friends has the power to build or break you. With this in mind, choose friends wisely. Hang out with negatively minded people and your performance will definitely affected negatively as is with the opposite side. My personal preference and that of my parents is to keep away unnecessary gadgets as cell phones when studying or learning. That way even a good friend can not disturb work time through social media.


Responsibility should not be left out when talking of success. You need to take responsibility of your time management, actions and even results. Frowning at a low mark will not change it. However, finding and acknowledging your mistakes helps. When you are about to complain about an unsatisfactory mark take time to remember that it was you who wrote the work. When you archive an encouraging mark, also remember that it is your work.Most importantly put your work in the hands of the Lord, he holds all wisdom and understanding and gives unto those who ask freely and in abundance.


Rather than give a success story, I have given a formula for greatness. Be warned however that this is a custom made formula. Though I might not have followed it to the dot. I urge that each student who reads this article look at themselves and their needs and customize this formula to suit them. However the basics will always remain. Why aim for just success when greatness is in reach? The beautiful thing about greatness is that unlike success, you don’t just make it and dwell there. You improve and empower others to reach higher.


It took a lot of effort to attain my grades, but it took more than just that to mould me into who I am. My appreciation goes to my grandparents for opening opportunities for me by financing my studies and ensuring I always give everything I do my best effort, also for their moral support. It is because of these peoples’ belief in me and their tireless efforts that I made it this far. I also express my gratitude to my teachers who guided me through the jungle of AS Level. Lastly and definitely not least my appreciation goes to my elder sister and aunt, both former students of Hilbright Science College, who set the bar high for me to reach higher. To students everywhere I urge you to not let success be just a story but a life story.