On the first day of school each year one of my primary school teachers told us “unyaka uphelile” (the year has ended).He would encourage us to start studying on that first day. Naturally, as youngsters we found this bizarre as our minds were still on holiday, and we were irritated by the fact that we again had to wake up early to prepare for school. We could not wait for the weekend’s arrival, so we could enjoy our sleep and focus only on playing rather than our schoolwork.With bated breath we waited for the school bell to ring Fridays, indicating the end of the school week and the start of the weekend. But within the blink of an eye, it seemed, it was Monday again . . . back to square one waking up early to go to school again.Without really realising it, the months flew by and March quickly approached. This would mean time to prepare for exams. When you took the time actually to open your books, only then did you realise the load of work you needed to revise and study – in very little time – before the start of the exams. Though I would not easily admit it, a voice deep within would always say, “Eish! The teacher was right to say we must study from the first day.”And with each term, the workload seemed like a mountain to climb in a short space of time before the exams. However boring you may have found it, you again heard the teacher uttering the same words at the start of the following year. Unyaka uphelile!Through his constant use of the saying, I learnt that putting things aside to do tomorrow will not change the fact that they will still be waiting for you. When you touch them tomorrow, there may be even more for you to do, including that which you had postponed the other day.Though it may be difficult, it is better you start working now! Procrastination will lead to nothing other than unwanted pressure at the last minute.I wanted to share this message with all school learners who have embarked on the new academic year: Start paying attention and doing your schoolwork today! If you have not turned the page to study yet, it’s not too late to start now. Remember, time waits for no man.Taking this approach, I assure you I will ease the pressure on you, and things will all fall into place when the time comes for you to sit down for tests and exams.So, indeed, I agree – unyaka uphelile!