Treat Each Week Like it's Early December

October 13, 2017


If you are reading this, congratulations – you survived the first month of the Fall semester. The unofficial semester ‘warmup’ period that we all go through has ended. If you are like me, you have even had a few exams.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first exam in American Government. Leading up to the exam, I received an email from Mr. Lees. The email had study tips as well as some ideas of what may be on the exam. After glancing these over, I noticed a phrase at the bottom of the email that made me stop and think.

Mr. Lees wrote, “if you want to end well, begin well.” This seems somewhat obvious. If you want to have a well done finished project, it would benefit you to start out strong. If you want to build a nice house, don’t be lazy when laying the foundation.

A school semester is not much different. If we want to have a strong GPA in December, the best way to secure that is by having a strong GPA in October. Let me give an example from my government class again.

Let’s say that my goal is to finish with a “B” in Government. The class has 1000 points through the semester. To receive a “B”, I will need at least 800 of those 1000 points, spread out over 10 exams. The ideal situation would be to receive a “B” grade on all of the exams in the class, ensuring that I receive a “B” for my final grade.

However, not studying or putting in the necessary effort for the first half of the semester would make things much more difficult. What if I receive a “D” for my first few exams, earning 65 out of 100 points on each one? Out of the 800 points that I need, I have only earned 350 by mid-term. This leaves 450 points that I need to earn in the second half of the semester. This means that I would need to receive and 90% on the 5 remaining exams to finish with a “B” in the class.

My goal has become substantially harder to reach. It will take all of the energy and time I can muster in order for me to reach my goal. The amount of work needed to receive a “B” in the class has sky-rocketed. The rest of the semester is an uphill battle.

The best way to excel in a semester is to treat each week like it’s early December. Realize that each assignment, discussion and exam is included in your final grade. Don’t treat the early phases of the semester as practice for the December grade scramble. Work hard on the early exams so that you don’t have to lose sleep over the later exams. Give it your all in October, because the best way to end well, is to begin well.

 Blog written by Bailey Drone, student writer