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The good news here is that the education system in Queensland is designed to see ‘every student succeeding’. That means you. That means there is an entire system built around seeing you succeed. Boom.

But- if that’s not how you think things are going right now, then let’s look at how you can use this system to make sure it is working for you.

Know your options

Not everyone’s education path will be the same. School doesn’t have to look like 12 years of 6 hour class days; there are in-school apprenticeships and traineeships, work experience, subject choices and flexible options – to name a few. You can use your senior years to work towards qualifications, explore the subjects you’re interested in or select the subjects for further post-school study if you know what you’re after. You can change your mind. It’s OK. It’s your education, and it has to help you get where you want to be.

Each school will have slightly different options and opportunities, so if you want to know what’s out there waiting for you – just ask.

Know your rights

All young people have the right to a quality education in Queensland and there are a bunch of safe-guards built into the system to make sure no one is slipping through the cracks.

  • State schools should be inclusive of student needs, and will be able to make ‘reasonable’ changes to ensure student needs are met.
  • You have the right to be treated equally and with respect (remember, it works two ways, the best way to get respect is to give it).
  • You have human rights too. You’re a person, not a student, you have a life and it’s made up of a lot more than just school. But your education is yours too and it’s helping you get what you want from life, so when life gets heavy, there are ways the school can help. If things outside of school are getting too much, or if you need some extra support, you can still talk to your school counsellor, support staff or another adult you trust. They might be able to help you find the support you need, and they can definitely try to help make school a supportive place, when they know your situation.

Don’t sweat the little stuff

Remember what’s important to you. Your education is supposed to be getting you where you want to go in life. Be smart about how you use these years and opportunities but also remember who you are, and what it means to you.

Know that there are different kinds of ‘smart’

It’s time to look at success differently- forget about the ‘straight-A kids’ and the ‘D kids’. It’s not a thing, you can’t box people into groups and label them on one area of their life. Sure, everyone has their own skills, but knowing your strengths doesn’t limit you to a label, it means you can be smart about how you achieve what you want.

Know your own worth

The way you see yourself has a huge impact on your life. In a world where we are often surrounded by things telling us we are not enough, it can be hard to remember that you are. Celebrate the things that make you who you are – there is no one else like you. Find people who build you up and accept you as you are, and do the same for them. You are not defined by your past, where you live, what you wear or the grades on your paper.

Keep trying

There’s always another option. No matter how bad things get, there’s always another chance. Failing something doesn’t make you a failure, it means you’re learning.

Give everything a go

By the time you get to uni, training or employment, you’re learning more in-depth skills and knowledge specific to the area you chose. Your school years give you time to learn across a range of different areas and explore options. So give it a go. If it doesn’t fit for you, at least you know that now and hey, you’ve learnt a bunch of other useful stuff along the way. No learning is wasted.

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try

Don’t forget your mates

Get yourself a good bunch of people. Sometimes, they might not be the coolest, smartest or funniest people you’ve ever met in your life but good mates are worth their weight in gold. Someone who will laugh with you when it all feels too much, or someone that spots when you’re feeling down. Take care of and hold onto the ones who are there for you, who accept you as you are, see the best in you and help you achieve your goals.