Hi, I hope you’re doing okay! I know most of you reading this just resumed school( or you’ll resume soon). I just wanted to encourage you because this academic year can be your year if you want it to be. You are capable and I’m rooting for you. How are we excelling this academic year? Firstly, this may sound obvious but we need to work hard and smart. Keith Powers came on “The Real” in July and one of the hosts asked him to say the biggest lesson he had learnt since becoming famous. He said to her that he does not consider himself a celebrity yet. He said he looks at ‘the greats like Beyonce’ and he keeps telling himself that those people work and if he wants to attain that level of success he needs to work too. Hard work really is the secret to success. Let’s put in the extra hours, manage our time wisely (I know this is an extreme sport but we’re going to try this year!!) create work schedules, and go out of our way to get any extra help we may need. Also, let’s begin with the end in mind. “This semester, I want my GPA to be this…”; “This term, I want to get X number of As” and then let’s work towards our goal(s).

Secondly, we need to believe in ourselves. Do you believe that you can get amazing grades if you set your mind to it or do you believe good grades are reserved for certain people? I agree that some people are academically gifted but hard work and self belief are capable of beating talent any day. As Ford puts it; ‘Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right’. More importantly, don’t worry if nobody believes you can do it. That’s okay. Just work hard in silence, let success be your noise. There’s this youtuber, Ibz Mo, that I watched quite often while I was doing my A-levels. To cut the long story short, he got two Bs, 4 Cs and 2 Ds in his GCSEs and NONE of his teachers believed in him. He’s currently at Cambridge University. In the video detailing his academic experience prior to Cambridge, he said something that I hope you remember even if you forget every other thing in this piece: “As students you have so much power. No one decides what grades you get except for yourself. If you want good grades, go and get it”.

Now for the last point and by no means the least, ask God for help. I remember meeting this guy who makes wigs and I was amazed to hear his clientele includes very well known women in Nigeria. I was trying to understand his success story so I started asking him questions about his journey and He said to me: “ It’s just God. Many people are in this business. Many people started with me and they’re not where I am today. It’s just God.’’ You asking God for help can literally change everything, and Manny Pacquiao’s words imply this; “I want to let people know that there is a God who can raise people from nothing to something. And that’s me. I came from nothing into something”.

The first step is that you have to say that you can- Will Smith

With God, hard work and focus, I can accomplish what is ahead of me- Many Pacquiao

Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard-Kevin Durant
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