Preparation is the Key

Monica is a senior from the Bay Area, California. She loves playing video games, reading fantasy, listening to rap, and doing pretty much anything that works together to highlight her individuality.


“Stay prepared so you won’t have to get prepared.”

This advice was not directly given to me, but the first time I read it I was in the eighth grade and on the eve of graduating from my longtime elementary school. I thought that I was a full fledged adult, as many thirteen and fourteen year olds feel going off into high school. Of course, my parents, grandparents, older cousins, and aunts and uncles were itching to throw advice at me left and right, and of course I took most of it with a grain of salt, to the effect that I can’t remember most of what people said four years later.

This advice here stuck with me because of how I discovered it. In my yearbook, the graduating class had their usual six or eight pages displaying a formal graduation picture and among other things, a quotation that stood out to them. The mother of a classmate of mine who I had known since preschool suggested this advice to be her quotation, and indeed, they were her own words. I was shocked that a woman I saw mostly every day could come up with something so true and down to earth, advice that fit everyone’s needs.

Now, I’ve sworn by this one for a while, and all other adults I have talked to agree wholeheartedly. Keeping a mindset of early preparation prevents stress and enables me to save necessary time for any unexpected challenges that come up in my life. A good example of this keeping all of my schoolwork, especially notes, in order so that when it comes to midterms and finals, I can easily find what I need to study. If I were to take notes but not organize them correctly, I would waste time trying to prepare myself for studying, which can be defined as preparation for tests, which prepare us for real life challenges using the knowledge we have learned.

If you are a parent, preach this to your child. Many of them will keep it in their heads even if they don’t necessarily agree with the advice at their current age because as unfortunate events unfold in their lives they will look back at times where they could have prepared better. You, parent, already know that preparation is the key to preventing tons of stress; if you had the opportunity to sit down and prepare yourself for potential disasters and mishaps, wouldn’t you? This advice works in all fields of life, including sports, school, work, and even life itself. (This is why we have life insurance, to stay prepared for the inevitable, right?)

And if you’re a preteen or teenager, take the advice from someone who has had experience with this since the end of the eighth grade. Believe me when I promise that it will make your choices, duties and activities easier. A lot of adults wish they could take a trip into their youth and prepare better for certain events. Don’t waste the opportunity you have now to prepare yourself for life at your parents’ age.


Photo: JacQuLyne from Flickr


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  1. 8/12/11: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - August 12, 2011

    […] Preparation is the Key One of the most important pieces of advice a parent can give to their child. […]

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