Dear Asma, Yusuf and Class of 2019

It has began. The finish line is in sight. In just over one month, a journey that you began twelve years ago will end. 

Here’s five pieces of advice for matric

  1. “Pray like you didn’t study and study like you didn’t pray.” This was the best advice I received. It works. You’re putting faith in the Almighty and you’re also tying your camel. This is the secret to it all. 
  2. Don’t be intimidated by your papers. You’ve written countless ones before these so you have this. I’m pretty sure that most of your school papers were more difficult than the government ones. Your teachers gave you the upper hand here. Remember this. 
  3. Don’t stress. I know (from my own experience) that this is easier said than done. But it can be done. If you find yourself overthinking situations, take deep breaths and tell yourself a positive affirmation. Tell yourself things like “you got this!” and “just keep swimming”
  4. If you find yourself freaking out in your paper, find something to count, it can be the lights or the windows or even the tiles. Your brain will gain confidence from this simple numeracy task that you’re able to accomplish and you’ll feel better. After you do this, give your paper a second go. 
  5. Take note of the time continuously and make sure that you are giving each question the right amount of time. In the beginning of the paper, mentally note how many minutes you have per mark. So, for example, Accounting is 300 marks in 180 minutes. 180/300 = 0.60 which means you have 0.60 minutes (36 seconds) for each mark. 

Here’s five pieces of advice for when matric is over:

  1. Life after school is a fresh start. Take this opportunity to be whoever you want to be. Cut your hair and then dye your hair a crazy blue because new hair = new me. 
  1. It’s okay if you haven’t figured out your plan next. You’ll learn. Now is the time to make mistakes because nothing is permanent. Choose something and then change your mind. Just don’t stop dreaming. You have so much of potential so take the time to uncover it. 
  1. If you thought that school was the best, you’re wrong. The best is yet to come. All the stress and pressure of matric is worth it to get into university (which is also as stressful) but this is where the magic happens. You’ll see.
  1. Appreciate your family. Take the time to be with them, to learn things about them that you didn’t know while you were growing up and listen to them, heed their advice, trust me when I say sometimes they really do know best. They will always be on your team and they will support you no matter what. 
  1. Choose your friends wisely. They will literally make you or break you. They will either influence you in the best way or they will set you on a path that doesn’t end with your parents being proud of you. Also, don’t forget your high school friends, for me, my bond with my high school friends is very special and they are the people who still hold a very special place in my heart. Surprisingly, you might find yourself being friends with people you weren’t that close with in high school but somehow they end up in your life afterwards and you wonder how you ever lived without them in your life.

To my Asma and my Yusuf 

I have no doubt in all that you’re both going to accomplish. I am so proud to see the woman and the man that you’ve both become. In the last year, the two of have shown me wisdom beyond your years so I have no doubt in your capabilities. Remember that I’m always behind both of you 100% and I always have your backs. See you next year!

All the best Class of 2019, the world awaits you.

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