2020.

Shew, 2020. What a year and where to even begin?

I guess a quick summary consists of: 


Started to work out ... Birthday Spoils ... Grade 8 Camp 😳 ... Passing my Learners ... Passing my Drivers ... Making new Friends (Shoutout to the Parktown Girls SEC) ... Valentines Day ... Eye Surgery ... Getting bit by two dogs (Scars for life✌️) ... I lost my best friend ... COVID-19 ... Lockdown in SA ... X 3/4 Months ... Ramadhaan ... Eid ... Started to Run ... Back to school ... My family being infected with COVID ... Ran my 1st Half Marathon ... Making new friends (again) ... Prelims ... Finals ...


I’m pretty sure I’ve missed out loads of highlights and I do apologise. I do admit that I’ve procrastinated this post right until New Years Eve as it is currently 21:40, 31 December 2020 as I draft this post.

My highlights will further be broken up according to the 5 spheres of life (shoutout to Life Orientation) which is namely, Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, Physical and Social. 

A Spiritual Summary To My Year:

This might come as shocking to some people who personally know me, or think they do? But for a while I lacked a spiritual connection to my religion. I will try keep my views personal however I do feel my story needs to be heard in hopes of inspiring others. For a while I practiced my faith but like many, lacked the love of willingness. My new spiritual journey began once I was gifted a book by Elif Shafak called the ‘40 Rules of Love’. This book diving into an extraordinary relationship between Shams of Tabrizi and Rumi. From this book I was able to find love in my faith and actions through various lessons taught throughout the book and a sense of sakeenah filled my soul. Alhamdulillah. (Praise be to God.)

An Emotional Health Summary To My Year:

Believe it or not, Grade 12 had the least negative impact on my emotional health this year. Except  for that time news broke of a rewrite 🙂 

I was recently asked a question by a dear friend of minds, “What was the most challenging part of 2020 for you?”, and ny response may be shocking. The most challenging segment of my year emotionally was dealing with the loss of my best friend. However, with relation to other spheres of my well being, I was able to overcome this. Yes I lost a part of myself. But the lessons learnt and the metamorphosis that engulfed me was priceless. There are times in life where we have to say goodbye and move our separate ways. Our lives have been set out by destiny and sometimes we have to realise that we have no control over destiny. However we can control how we chose to move forward. And its easier said than done, but the overwhelming feeling of accepting that you cannot control who enters and leaves by your life but you can control your how you chose to live your life is priceless. 

Oh , matric was okayyyyyy. The last few months has been a never ending story starting finals 2 days after completing prelims. However with a strong mindset and an amazing support from family and friends,  I was able to persevere through matric without many emotional breakdowns , haha.

A Mental Health Summary To My Year:

I’ll be honest , I’ve forgotten the difference between mental and emotional, well I;m finding it hard tío differentiate and I’m too lazy to hit up Uncle Google so here’s the tea. My matric year may have been related to my mental health but to further add on, this year has allowed me to discover hidden potential buried beneath my skin. From practicing meditation to clear the mind and soul, to vowing to change my approach to stress, 2020 has taught me a handful. Oh my approach is simple and ties in to what I’ve previously mentioned.  I’ve tried to minimise stress and pressure by firstly accepting that I am human and I have limitations. I cannot please everyone and not everyone appreciates my worth. I often tried to find validation from others approvals however this year has taught me to love and appreciate myself more. In essence, IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO. Secondly, why stress about something that’s already happened or is out of your control? When you could focus on what you can control...

A Physical Health Summary To My Year:

Initially I started 2020 with the intention to get dak (muscular). I kept viewing famous Americans on instagram and TikTok my age and felt embarrassed and insecure with my body and that needed to change. The first few months were okay, I went from being able to do 0 pushups to being able to do 100 pushups in one workout. However I still was not statisfied. The dream body I had in mind from the depths of social media was still a dream to me. I started shifting from traditional weights to body weight training in the beginning of lock down. I still was not happy. I then started to run (Not to brag or anything but my parents are ultra-marathon runners) and thus I inherited their genes. My progression sky rocketed as I was able to run a half marathon with only 2 months of training in 2 hours and 4 minutes. I was also introduced to Chloe Ting by a friend and I followed her program for months. I got a 6 pack. Finally !!! At what cost?  A strain on my mental health as I went into a calorie deficit of only 1500 calories for over a month. And I cut down all carbs so simultaneously I was on a Keto diet. I lost my abs in a week when prelims started. Not because I started to eat unhealthy, no I’ve been clean eating since June and I am forever happy with my diet. I was tired of my deprivation. The constant calorie counting. I was fit. I was active. I was running almost every single day and working out in the evenings as well. I realised my intentions were wrong. I finally accepted my body for what it is. Cherishing my accomplishments. Because let me tell you, it is liberating to know that I can wake up at 4:30am every day to go for my morning run. However soon after accepting myself more and loving who I am, I hit a pebble in the road. I think that’s a saying? I began to push myself too hard due to such fast paced accomplishments which left me with many injuries. To put it into perspective I couldn’t run for almost 1 and a half months. I would wake up everyday during my final examinations and force myself on the road only to return 5 minutes later with a sore ankle or damaged knee. It was not until recently when I finally healed from my injuries that I changed my mindset all together, AGAIN! This time, I was not competing with myself but instead following my heart. Literally. I’ve recently begun a low heart training programme which basically limits how high my heart rate is allowed to be while running. In the long term allowing me to use less energy on my runs in order to be more effeiceint throughout my day as well as limiting my injuries. 

So dear readers, moral of the story? Learn to appreciate who you are and accept yourself for who you are. Again, only you can control how you chose to live your life.

A Social Summary To My Year:

I lost my best friend. I think I’ve said this a million times already. Oof why am I being so negative? Shame...

I MADE NEW FRIENDS THIS YEAR. I also increased my relations with my parents whom I am always grateful for being blessed with.

Reflecting, this post does not do justice to all the thoughts flowing through my mind, there is so much more that I’d like to say, so much lessons to mention, so many memories to appreciate, but alas I am tired and my creative juices have expired.

I hope you all have a more pleasant year ahead and catch you in my “2021” edition of this post. ✌️

How To Overcome Last Exam Syndrome

Let’s cut to the chase. If you’ve been directed to this blog post through one of my many social media platforms, 99.98% of you have already completed your final examinations for the year. But alas, to that 0.02% of my readers who are still pushing through and to the students of next year who’d like a little jumpstart, today we’ll be diving into ‘The Last Exam Syndrome’.

Let’s quickly define Last Exam Syndrome:

According to the notorious Urban Dictionary, Last Exam Syndrome is “worldwide student condition”, so fear not dear readers, you’re not alone. The definition sourced from the Urban Dictionary is as follows:

My Experience with Last Exam Syndrome

Believe it or not, I’ve been experiencing a mild case of ‘Last Exam Syndrome’ lately. Mainly due to the fact that my last final matric examination commences in the next 4 hours give or take. I began to feel demotivated after hearing the news with regards to the cancellation of the matric rewrites. With all my stress being released came new feelings of laziness. Look, I had my whole schedule ahead of me in order to effectively cope through the matric rewrites and with all of that studying time suddenly being ‘erased’ from my schedule came the ‘holiday’ mood as I witnessed my surrounding friends celebrate an end to a very exhausting year.

The following day upon hearing the news, I managed to pull up my socks and attempt to be productive to my maximum. It was only until yesterday (T-Minus on day before my last exam) did the syndrome intensify. I managed to follow my studying schedule but at a cost. The cost being using up all my energy to force myself into studying instead of using my energy to actually study. Oh I also plugged back in my gaming console and started to play Star Wars Jedi: The Last Order. YAY FOR PROCRASTINATION.

And now that leaves us to today. As stated by the obvious, I am not studying. In fact I am lying on my bed contemplating whether I should post this draft or not. Nonetheless I believe a simple attitude shift has helped me get out of this rut.

Tips To Overcome Last Exam Syndrome

Now it did require some willpower for me to pull this off but the process was quite simple. I had to remind myself that firstly - I’ve studied all my work before and thus any stress I would be feeling in the moments leading up to my exam due to Last Exam Syndrome would be false. So in laymen’s terms, Be Confident! That is of course if you’ve studied in advance...

Secondly, to preserve more energy for studying when feeling demotivated, I would think about completing my exams with a ‘bang’. You know like how in all those action Hollywood movies where the lead character walks away from an explosion in the end after an intense action sequence? I would think of my final exam as the ‘final action sequence’ and how awesome it would be to walk away from an explosion , i.e walking away with good grades.

Lastly, whenever feeling overwhelmed with anxiety due to being so relaxed when I should be studying, I would practice breathing techniques in order to ease my mind.

Conclusion

Last Exam Syndrome is something we all tend to informally experience from time to time. The unscientifically proven syndrome can be further broken to us as humans just losing motivation near the end in almost anything we do. However don’t use these feelings to justify your laziness. We are stronger than believe and it;s never too late walk away from an epic explosion.

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Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim

In the name of God, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Hi, my name is Muaawiyah and congratulations on making it this far to my site. I'm currently to date an 18 year old boy in the midst of his final high school examinations and instead of studying, here I lie, typing away to the internet.

The general thread of todays post is just some background information pertaining to who I am and why I've decided to share my thoughts to the web.

Other than being 18 years old, I have a strong passion for anything 'tech' related and you could say I'm quite "tech savvy". After matriculating (completing high school) I intend on studying Information Engineering. My hobbies include photography, reading and believe it or not binging those extensive K-Dramas. I also enjoy running as well as trying to keep up in the world of 'health gurus'.

I recently - well actually today, watched a YouTube video from vlogger Ali Abdaal who mentioned two phrases with regards to author Austin Kleon's book 'Show Your Work' that has resonated with me ever since. Those two phrases:

And that dear readers is why I've drafted this blog page. I'll be using this medium as a form of expressing my thoughts, passions and hobby related breakthroughs?

However you should know, writing is not my forte. So please do bare with my poor choice of vocabulary and sentence construction. Practice makes perfect right? Although do take me out in the comments section if I make mistakes 😂, we learn from our mistakes.

That's it for now, ‬⁩thank you for peaking in? 🤷‍♂️