Timing is important
The academic year is starting in earnest amidst a lot of uncertainty and it is my pleasure to welcome you as the UMP community (all staff: academic and support; students – returning and new). As we start Term 1, there are thoughts to share to prepare us to navigate the road ahead.
Many variables on our Wisdom from the past
Humankind has always thought carefully and deeply about phenomena, and deposited rich and profound treasures in idioms and proverbs. You would have heard pearls of wisdom like ‘’make hay while the sun shines ‘’, ‘’ a stitch in time saves nine’’ and African nuggets like “an ant on its feet can do more than an elephant lying down’’ and “ agile and alert herdboys drive cattle out of the kraal, at the crack of dawn to graze”.
These idioms and proverbs teach us to plan, to act, to make an early start, to work hard, to be disciplined and not to procrastinate. May I urge all of us to start right away doing all we can to stay ahead, and not be caught napping. The Nike maxim, “Just do it !’’ reminds us of the fact that the reward for something well done, is to have done it.
There are benefits to starting early
We always lose out when we delay and we put ourselves under undue pressure, when we leave matters to the last minute. Starting early helps with motivation, mental health and overall well-being. The mindset of those who start early is that of confidence and optimism. Get acquainted with online learning, find ways to work ahead of schedule, submit assignments and projects on time, so that those who need to evaluate them have enough time to guide and advise. Our academic staff have cracked the code of access, throughput and success. This is shown by the high pass rates at UMP, which have been consistent in the last few years.
A prepared and alert UMP community will be a resilient community. Heed the advice to make an early start as we do not know what lies ahead. When we all start well from the blocks, our collective nerves will be settled, and we will create a kind of campus ecology that will be an envy to many.
May I conclude with the following words:
“The pessimist complaints about the wind,
The optimist expects it to change,
The leader adjusts the sail”. John Maxwell.
May you learn to adjust your sails as we embark on the 2021 academic year. Enjoy UMP’s ambience and iconic infrastructure which will add value to your learning and development.
Prof Thoko Mayekiso
16 March 2021