Written by Colleen Morgan, AmeriCorps Member serving on the Albemarle Foundation Team at Merrydale Elementary School.

As September begins, we leap into a month that is labeled as Attendance Awareness month. When talking about attendance, the topic of time management comes up, and who has more to say about time management than a young adult that is experienced at getting to a place seconds before she is considered late? I know, I agree, I’m the perfect candidate. I humbly accept and impart these words of wisdom to you.

I used to think alarm clocks were the worst. The snooze button and I were in a relationship that I thought would never come to an end.  In fact, looking back, I used to hate clocks in general. I mean, what’s more annoying than when you’re trying to concentrate and all you hear is the constant tick… tock… tick… tock… tick… you get my point. Clocks just made me realize we are always counting down. How many hours are left before lunch? Traffic will make me lose this much time on my commute down College Drive. Only so many more hours left to sleep after I write up this report, I mean my list could go on and on.  

It’s interesting though. We do all of this subtraction, but every math class I’ve ever been in begins with addition. The definition of subtraction, as provided by the World’s most reliable source, Google, is “the process or skill of taking one number or amount away from another.” I think about a day and I surely don’t want any of my hours to be taken away… Twenty-four hours is hard enough to fit everything in. So why do we do all of this subtraction? Why do we make it seem like we are taking hours away? As far as I can see, we need all the hours we can get. So why are we making time so difficult?

So I decided to take a new approach this year and to go back to the basics and refresh on my addition. When that alarm goes off, I will smile because I have been given the opportunity to add 24 more hours to my life. I have been given another day to serve the people of this community and to work along side the most amazing team of individuals. And when I hear that clock ticking, I will concentrate harder, because no distraction is worth losing those precious seconds. I will no longer look at a clock and do subtraction. I hope to only look at the clock for inspiration. I have over 1700 hours to serve, and I don’t want to waste a single moment.

I hope with the new school year getting into the swing of things, others can realize that with attendance comes the understanding of time and time management. First, you need to show up. Once you show up, you have to learn how to manage your time to it’s fullest, and I promise you won’t be disappointed with those few extra moments you get each day.

My name is Colleen Morgan and I am an Americorp member proudly serving on the Albemarle Foundation Team at Merrydale Elementary.

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