Finish Strong

Dr. Matthew Arau • CommentaryMay 2023 • May 11, 2023

In high school, as a member of the track and field team, I specialized in the 800-meter race. The final curve and last 100 meters could make or break the race. Did I have enough reserves in my tank to accelerate and kick it all the way to the finish line or had I spent all my energy in the first half of the race? 

The end of the school year can feel like the end of a race. We may be exhausted and counting the days until summer. When this happens, we have a choice; we can either go through the motions and “just make it” to the end or we can ramp it up and finish the year strong.

At the beginning of the year, our energy and excitement tend to be at highest level as we set goals with eager anticipation of making a difference and having a positive influence. As we get further into the school year, persevering through the struggles and hard times is where our leadership character is tested and defined. However, it is truly how we finish out the school year that will determine our legacy and how we are remembered by leaders who follow in our footsteps. 

Here are five tips for student leaders to finish strong:

Show up with your best attitude every day, ready to encourage and uplift your peers.

Go out of your way to ask how you can be helpful to your music teacher.

Recommit to accomplishing your original goals.

Set a new goal to achieve or create something special in the final weeks and enthusiastically get after it to make it happen.

Reflect on what you have learned and how you have grown as a leader. Share the leadership lessons you have learned to encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders.

The end of the school year is in sight. Congratulations! Be sure to cross the finish line at full speed ahead because you only get one chance to make a lasting impression.


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