Recently I get lots of people telling me they are interested in studying next year. For some or other reason people like to plan things, especially studies, as if you can only start it at the beginning of a new year.
And with many training institutions you can only register and start your studies in January or February of a year.
But, of course, with distance education institutions like Unisa and College SA, you can start you studies at any time of the year. And even though it works like this, if you ask anybody at Unisa, you will find that in January they have long lines of people waiting to register! How strange, because if you go to register right now, there is no line at all…
Good intentions and the New Year…
I guess it is that we are used to starting big new things at the start of the year. When we went to school we knew that in January we start something big and new. So we are still stuck in that way of thinking… even if it is many years later.
In the same way, when people want to make big changes to their lives, they make “New Years” resolutions. When it gets to the new year, they have a plan to change and do things differently in the “New Year”.
But the new year brings no specific benefits or help or opportunity. It is often just a way for us to put off what we know we should do to improve our lives. Or we find it useful to pin down a date on when we will do something important, and the new year is an easy date to pick!
So why should you act Now?
While you are waiting for “things to get better” you could be improving your qualifications and making things better yourself right now.
Who knows what opportunities for promotion are waiting round the corner… will you be ready for it? Or will it go to someone else?
People with better qualifications get the better opportunities, better jobs and better pay. If you start a Certificate or Short Course right now… you can be earning more by February next year.
Everybody plans to start studying in January. If you join that crowd you will be standing in line, holding on the phone, and fighting for a place with everybody else. Or you can be smarter and avoid the January delays by registering NOW.
Many qualifications have their exams in March or in May. You need to register before January to ensure you got your study materials and to ensure that you are busy studying by 5 January – if you are still planning to register for studies in January, you will not be prepared for exams in March or May. For example, if next year you want to study a Bookkeeping qualification with the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers – www.icb.org.za ) then you need to know that the first exams are in February 2011. And you have to register with a College for your studies, and register with the ICB for your exams before the end of December 2010. If you don’t do that, you start the year by being behind!
It is very difficult to catch up with the person who starts early! Do not let other people get a head start in front of you – make sure that you are in the very front of the queue!
Most educational institutions increase their fees at the end of every year. So if you want to avoid paying more, you must register before January 2011.
Crabs in a bucket
Let me tell you something your parents, teachers and friends won’t tell you… people are like crabs in a bucket.
If you put a lot of crabs in a bucket, one will eventually get on top of the others and start climbing out. But as soon as that happens, the other crabs will pull that crab back into the bucket. Even before it can get out, there are crabs hanging on to it, and pulling it back into the bucket.
There are two lesson in this:
1. If people help each other they can overcome anything – so you should help others, even if you can’t see how it would benefit you directly
2. If you expect people to help you, you are going to be disappointed. Nobody wants to see you improve your life to where you are in a better position than they are. They will pull you back as soon as you get to the top of the bucket.
So if you want to be like everybody else, and do what everybody else does, and listen to everybody else who will improve their lives “tomorrow”, then wait till January…
But if you want to move ahead at your own pace, if you want to improve your life now, and not later, then, if part of your plan is to study; you can start studying TODAY.