You'll learn this pretty quick, so I might as well get it out of the way. I am no longer a teenager. I'm even old enough to have one school reunion--we start them at 5 years. This does mean that I've been a teenager, and I quite enjoyed it. One of the benefits of not being a teenager is that I've already lived through high school and I survived to tell the tale.
Year 12 can be a daunting experience. It's amazing how many people want you to know that this year has the ability to make or break the rest of your life. The truth? It doesn't. Here's my advice for finishing high school with a smile.
Plan in Advance At the end of Year 11 you usually go through the process of picking your subjects for the next year. This is also the time to think about and reassess what you want to do when you finish school. If you're planning on going to university then make note of the ATAR for the course you want to get into. Make sure you're also certain of any pre-requisites for the course you're interested in. Getting your head around things like scaling and bonus points means you'll be more aware come results time--you can cut out a lot of stress if you actually know what's going on.
Pick Subjects You Like This may seem obvious, but many students actually feel like they need to do specific subjects in Year 12; even if they won't need them in the future. If you enjoy the subjects you're taking you'll also find school is a lot less stressful. Make your final year bearable by making sure you actually enjoy the time you're spending at school.
Get Involved at School When your homework is piled high and mid-year exams are looming, it can seem like a good idea to cut ties with everything that doesn't revolve around school work. It's important to to put the books away from time to time and getting involved at school can be a great opportunity. If your school has an SRC or leadership committee, see if you can get involved. Often these committees do things like organising the school formal, planning Year 12 jumpers, and raising money for local charities. Not only will you get some useful life skills, but being involved at school also gives you a chance to interact with your teachers outside of the classroom. Having a good relationship with your teachers can really help when you have difficulty coping at school.
Don't Be Afraid to Re-Assess Your Goals It's really hard telling someone to make a decision that could affect the rest of their lives. This is what you've got to do when you start year 12. You might get halfway through Year 12 and realise that you really don't want to be a lawyer. Or you might not be getting the grades you need to get into medicine. One of the things to remember is that there's always an opportunity for change. If you don't get into the course you want there are always ways to transfer later, and wanting to adjust your goals is nothing to be ashamed about.
Have Fun Finishing Year 12 is all about balance. Studying is really important, but so is having fun with your friends. Say yes to that movie or party and skip the study from time to time. You don't have to go out every weekend to have a fun Year 12,but there's no need to shut yourself off from the rest of the world. Have a good time and make the most of your final year of high school.
Are you in Year 12 at the moment? What are the hardest things? If you've already finished Year 12 let us know your top tips for surviving your final year.