It’s your final year of high school. Year 12 can feel exciting and daunting all at the same time. While there’s the added pressure of making big decisions and finishing your ATAR, there are also lots of fun things to think about - like what’s next? And if you’re thinking about going onto further study, you can take this time to create some fundamental habits that will help set yourself up for success. Here’s our top 5 tips to help make Year 12 count – and enjoy it along the way!
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
Everyone around you will have different goals to you and they will have their own distractions competing for their attention. It’s important to not let others become a distraction to you. Instead, be happy for others and their achievements and don’t let any feelings of anger or jealousy side-track you. Although a small amount (think: a sprinkle) of healthy competition is good and in some situations can help with motivation, your last year at school shouldn’t be spent trying to run someone else’s race. So if you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, let it be yourself and beat your own personal bests.
2. Find balance and flexibility
Finding a study-life balance should be a priority. Everyone will tell you to create a study timetable, which is a great suggestion, but you don’t have to follow it strictly. Instead, approach your study schedule with flexibility, keeping in mind that sometimes, life doesn’t go to plan and things can pop up – unpredictably.
Have you heard the phrase ‘you can only control what you can control’? Well here’s what you can control: carving out time in your schedule for down-time, so that you can recharge and come back to study feeling refreshed and reenergised. It’s all about finding balance doing the things you love that make you happy while at the same time prioritising your study (without burying yourself in textbooks). You don’t need to do everything and be everything to everyone. Be kind to yourself. Make time to enjoy the little things, because you won’t be able study efficiently if you’re burnt out.
3. Experiment with different study styles and find what works for you
By trying out different study methods, you can figure out which style suits you. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re comfortable with it. Whether you prefer to study alone or in groups, with lots of colour and visual aids or perhaps black and white logical lists. There are plenty of options for studying and it’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ rule. Share your tips with others and make sure to find out what works for them – maybe even try out some new techniques!
4. Take time to learn about yourself and when you’re most productive
Are you a night owl or an early riser? Knowing when you’re most productive is important for getting the most out of your day and your study schedule. Learning some productivity hacks can help with your study efforts and with creating study-life balance. You can plan to recharge in your less productive times and study when you know you’ll get things done.
5. Think about the bigger picture and where you see yourself
You don’t need to have everything figured out and you’re not expected to have all the answers, but it’s worthwhile to think about what you want your life to look like. Dig deep and think about what your passionate about and what interests you and find out if there are University courses that align with those areas of interest. There’s no right decision when it comes to choosing your degree. There are several pathways for entry into university, completing Year 12 ATAR is just one of them.
Here’s what we wish we knew in Year 12
Enjoy Year 12! Don’t let the stress or pressure consume you and make sure you soak up the best parts of being a high school student. Say thank you to the teachers that make your school life better - you might just make their day! And most importantly, be nice to your parents or guardians. Remember – they were finishing high school once upon a time too, so they get it. It’s easier for everyone to be kind to one another (including being kind to yourself).