Finish Strong

A long-distance runner pushing toward the finish line

You’ve been running for miles. You’re exhausted. You can’t wait to be done.

You turn the corner and finally see the finish line.

What do you do?

Slow down and walk the rest of the way?

Or sprint to the finish line?

I know how a dedicated cross-country runner would answer: they would finish strong.

But this is an education blog, so I’m not really talking about running a race. I’m talking about school.

It’s May, so the school year is nearly over. For graduating seniors, high school itself is coming to an end. There’s an understandable temptation to start taking it easy.

Acting lazy. Coasting until summer vacation. Senioritis.

Whatever you call it, it’s a mistake.

I can already hear your objections:

But Chris, I’ve worked so hard this year, I deserve a break.

I have good grades. Even if I slack off for the rest of the semester, my GPA will be fine.

I’ve already been accepted to university. All I have to do now is graduate.

Fair enough. But the point of high school is not to get good enough grades to graduate and go to college. The point of school is to learn and grow. And you have the opportunity – the privilege – to use school as a mental training ground all the way up to the end.

Finish strong because you’re not “done” yet. You won’t be done when school is over. In fact, I hope you never stop learning and growing.

Finish strong because acting lazy is a form of arrogance, like the hare who took a nap near the finish line, while the tortoise labored on.

Finish strong because it sends your brain the right message about who you are, reinforcing a hard-working identity that will serve you in the future. Everything you do counts, even if it doesn’t affect the results people see on paper. The way you do everything matters, even – maybe especially – at the end.

So finish strong and carry that momentum into the next chapter of your life.

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