Something that I often find myself reminding students and parents alike is that “it’s easier to play keep up than catch up”. In other words, it requires less time, energy, and attention to stay current with your responsibilities than it does to get caught up when you are behind.
What it really comes down to is being proactive. Playing keep up means being proactive in your life, which corresponds to ease and and a positive sense of control. Playing catch-up means being reactive, which corresponds to feelings of helplessness and overwhelm.
If you’re a student, whether you’re constantly working a week ahead of your classes or a week behind, you have to maintain the same pace, but one position gives rise to a lot more stress than the other!
This is also why I counsel parents to have a conversation with their kids at the beginning of each semester where they look at their upcoming classes and consider whether the student is likely to need the help of a tutor in any of them, and be proactive about the hiring decision, rather than waiting until the student is struggling and lost before taking action.
Is “playing keep up, rather than catch up” something that you can relate to from your own experience? If so, let me know how in the comments!