Monthly Archives: April 2017

Tips to Heading Into Your Final Year Of High School

My new year’s resolution for 2017 is to reduce my stress levels.

This particular resolution will be difficult to achieve as (deep breath) I am going into my final year of high school. Yes, year 12!

Although this seems to be an almost impossible resolution to achieve under the circumstances, I will work at this every spare second I get next year.

Some ways that I will be able to achieve this resolution include organising, prioritising and, above all, completing my work.

This is just a small part to a big change in my life as I am prone to stressing. Organising my work can make completing my work a lot easier, as all my work will be in order, making it easier to start new projects. I will have all the task sheets and important information right in front of me, rather than me having to search through a huge pile of notes and sheets of paper to find something.

Prioritising my work is also an essential part to reducing stress, as it will allow me to complete the work that needs to be completed first, giving me a good idea of when each thing is due and how long I have to work on it.

Another important way to de-stress is, quite simply, remembering to relax. I need to spend more time doing things such as reading, colouring and watching television. I need to set more time to de-stressing, or I will sit and work for countless hours doing homework and assignments, without any breaks.

I need to set myself breaks and time to do the things I enjoy and things that don’t require much thinking. I need to give my brain a break to rest and rejuvenate so that it can work at its fullest capacity once I restart my school work.

Finally, I need to give myself a better sleeping routine; at least eight hours a day. This includes going to bed and waking up at the same time so my body can be ready for the day, having woken up refreshed.

With all these in mind I should be able to achieve my new year’s resolution of reducing stress.


The Pathway Talk With Your Parents

Figuring out what you want to do with the next stage of your life can be pretty hard.

For some of us, it’s made all the more difficult by the massive difference between our own goals and our parents’ expectations.

We might not be so sure what we want to do with our lives, but they seem to know exactly what we should do. You want to be a writer; they want you to be a dentist. You want to be a taxidermist; they want you to go into finance. Heck, maybe you want to become a lawyer, but your family thinks you’d be better off as a roving circus performer.

As a relatively stable roving circus performer writer and editor whose family wasn’t always so sure about my career, I’ve found that this difference in opinion isn’t insurmountable. Put on your pinstriped suit and don your most suave toupée: We’re headed to the negotiation table.

1) Hear Out Your Parents, Then Make Your Case

Ask your parents why they want the things they want. It’s possible they actually see law school as an excellent basis for a career in international espionage, not the courts. Or, more likely, they do want you to be a lawyer, but only because that’s their way of trying to make sure you never have to go hungry.

Then, make sure they know what your ultimate goals are. Perhaps you want to have a boring but stable part-time career to make room for more fun (but not profitable) hobbies. Maybe both you and your parents think money is super important, but you just don’t think being an international spy is right for you.

Make sure you’re both very clear on the ‘why’. Sometimes, this can solve the whole problem when you realise you’re both aiming for the same goals.

2) Consider Compromise

If you agree on goals but not the method, you’re more likely to get what you want if you accept a small, safe compromise. Your parents have been around for a while and unfortunately they will be right about some things.

An accounting course, for example, is boring (to some) but universally handy. Plus, it’ll reassure your parents that you’re taking things seriously, even if you do just use it to balance the books at your startup company selling novelty dog hats.

If Doggo Hats PTY LTD takes off, great! If not, you’ve still got a lot of options and a lot of knowledge you’d otherwise not have. Prove to your parents that you understand the risks and you have contingency plans. Everyone wins.

3) Deliver The Goods

If you and your family disagree on goals, a reliable way towards gaining acceptance is to prove you can apply yourself. ‘Hardworking yet misguided’ is better than ‘aimless and lazy’, and nothing looks lazier than skipping out on your own aspirations.

If you say you’ll knit a hundred scarves before Christmas, do it. At best, it will convince people that your plans are viable and you’ll stick to them. At worst, you’ll have a hundred scarves. That’s not a bad deal.

4) Don’t Lose Sight Of The Big Picture

In the end, your life is about meeting your own goals, not anyone else’s. If you still can’t see eye-to-eye, perhaps the only solution is time. That’s okay. People change and the expectations of others don’t define you.

As long as you’re still striving towards your goals and clinging to opportunities thrown your way, you’ll be okay. And that’s what your family really wants for you. They care: That’s why they give you a hard time.

Solutions When Disappointed With Your Exam Performance

Dear Year 12 students…

I am writing to tell you that the HSC/WACE/VCE/SACE/QCS is just one way of getting into university.

So, what exactly am I saying? I am telling you that your life does not start and end with your exam results—no matter what everybody else tells you.

Exams are always going to be stressful; just do your best and nobody can ask any better of you. You tried and that’s what matters.

You made it all the way through Year 12 and you’re planning to take the next step towards your career. De-stress, study and remember – your end-of-school exams are not the defining moment of your life that determines whether you succeed or fail. It’s merely another step in your journey towards a career that you are passionate about.

Take me for example. I graduated from high school in 2013. I freaked out about the HSC like every other student. I also procrastinated as much as possible like every other student.

However, when it came to the exams, I took a deep breath and knew that it would be okay. I knew this because I had about three or four back-up plans—all of which led to university in one form or another.

Why does this matter? It’s an example of what I’m trying to tell you. A disappointing HSC score is not necessarily the end of your aspirations to become a lawyer, doctor, nurse or whatever else you want to be. It’s just a starting point.

I didn’t even need to use my ATAR. I was given direct entry to my course after I completed a special university program during Year 11. All the university wanted to know after my HSC exams was that I got an ATAR.

How does this apply to you? Early entry is just one pathway. I know that it’s a bit late to be mentioning it, but it’s an example of the many ways to get into university. There are so many other ways to get into uni. Take a year off and come back as a ‘mature age student’. Enrol in a course similar to the one you would like to do and transfer over when the university allows you to. Undertake a TAFE course instead, and if TAFE offers entry into the career you want, use it as credit for your eventual university degree. The HSC is not your only pathway into university.

When you finish high school, the world is your oyster. Travel, gain experience and work in as many occupations and as many places as you can. Enjoy your youth.

University has been around for a long time and it’s not about to disappear. Take a gap year (or two) and take your time to decide on exactly what you want your future to look like. Remember that this is only the beginning of a very long and very exciting journey