14 June 2014

Year 12 survival tips you'll actually need!

It's June and I know from past experience that the Year 12 exam hustle bustle is in full swing. I'm positive that there are thousands of students each year procrastinating right here on the internet, eagerly typing into their search bar 'how to survive year 12' so I wanted to deliver some fresh, understandable and realistic advice on how to conquer your final year of high school.
* I'm not an expert on this topic and I didn't get the highest of marks - I'm just sharing some of my thoughts.

1. Your teachers are your mentors
Put aside the fact that you've despised all teachers for the past 12 years - your senior years are the days where you must actually befriend them. The old accusation of teachers playing favourites in the classroom basically applies and they'll say something along the lines of "I'll only help those who approach me - don't ask for help a week before an exam." If you're unsure of anything at all, speak up and ask for help! Teachers love to see positive progression and I bet you'll love seeing improvement!

2. Focus
If you've stuck around until Year 12, then you've automatically set yourself a goal to complete these final exams. Always stay motivated and constantly tell yourself that you can do it! Know what your priorities are and probably one of the most important things I need to emphasise - DO NOT worry about things that don't matter. That might sound dumb, but you don't need to be maintaining a certain amount of subscribers on Youtube or chase after that boy/girl that you've been crushing on - that kind of stuff can wait! Focus!

3. You are in control of your subjects
Your senior years are when you're given the opportunity to make your own decisions. Choosing your subjects are a big deal and it's so important that you actually enjoy the course content and not just choose it because your best friend is. A lot of students aren't aware of the control that they actually have within their subjects - with many subjects you get to study topics or texts that you can integrate into academic study. For example, pick your favourite song lyrics and relate it back to your area of study for English, or choose a company that you have a genuine interest for for your Business Studies case studies. 

4. Think of the future
Teachers will bombard you with information about what's available to you after you leave high school, but instead of letting them feed you with the same information over and over again, educate yourself with what's out there. Research colleges, short courses, gap years, full-time jobs etc. and know that you call the shots!

5. Be very extremely organised
Keeping up with your academic timetable can be extremely stressful if you don't manage your time well. Be aware of when things are happening and keep a planner or a calendar and set yourself small goals like getting your study notes done or a section of an essay done by a certain date. This helps immensely with your future use of time management skills, which is a must in the workplace!

6. Don't compare yourself to others
I want to really emphasise this point because I've seen a lot of this happening lately, especially with Year 12 students. I'm not 100% sure how other states examine Year 12 students, but in NSW there's the HSC and it is not a competition, in fact, it's more beneficial if everyone in the class worked together to result in a higher mark. This being said, I'm not implying that everyone should exchange answers for everything, but assist others who might be struggling and maybe share study notes. When you get results back from an assignment and everyone starts sharing marks, don't feel like you need to hide - that number or percentage won't even matter in a few months time. Every person has a specialty; sure, you're not the best at Geography, but you might conquer in Maths!

7. Balance
It's okay to have a social life during your final high school year! This is the year where your mates will be turning 18, so join them and party! Balancing your schedule takes focus and planning, especially when you've got a lot on your plate. Some students have jobs (sometimes multiple), sport/hobbies, a girl/boyfriend, family commitments and more to balance, as well as studying on top of that. Again, know your priorities and plan your time to have a healthy balance of education and a social life!

8. Stay healthy
Everyone says it, but just think - you're spending so much time sitting down and looking at a computer screen or a textbook. Simple exercises will be beneficial, like eye exercises, hand and wrist exercises, go for a 20 minute walk around your neighbourhood and maybe even try out swapping your chair for an exercise ball. On top of this, eat healthy, sleep well, meditate, have a bottle of water by your side while you study and take 2-3 Fish Oil tablets a day.

9. Make the most of your final year in high school
As high school comes to an end, you'll share a lot of 'lasts' with your year group. These will be memories that you'll cherish for a long time. You're only going to do Year 12 once, so enjoy the freedom and have fun, whether it be at your last school photo, last assembly, last sport carnival, last excursion or your last class. Take lots of photos because you'll want to revisit the memories!

10. Exam marks do not define you
So when you've studied, done all your exams/major works/performances, you wait for some numbers to be texted and delivered to you and then it's all over. If you do extremely well - awesome, and you if don't go as well as you hoped - that's cool too. There are SO many other things that you can do without a high grade, so please don't let a few numbers get you down. 

These were 10 things that I wish I knew when I was in Year 12 and I hope this helped some of you :) I'm going to end this post with this video that was circulating while I was in Year 12 and it changed the way I think... please watch/listen!

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