As you’re entering Year 12, you’d think you’d be feeling keen to make that final push to the finish, right? For many students, that just isn’t the case.
There are a few reasons that you might not be excited about the last few months of school, but we’ve rounded up some handy information that will help you to get back on track… or to find a new path.
If you’re feeling swamped with assessments and exams, as well as outside commitments, you’re not the only one. A little stress can be useful to help us focus, but too much often takes away our motivation.
When you’ve made it as far as Year 12, you’ve almost certainly developed some coping skills, like positive self-talk, staying active, or relaxation techniques. If those aren’t working for you, it might be time to talk to someone. School guidance officers can help you to know some of the options open to you, and Headspace has a great work and study service, complete with specialist counsellors.
Lost the passion for learning?
Remember when you were a little kid, and learning new stuff was exciting? It would be hard to maintain that level of wonder, but if you’re feeling a bit flat about the subjects you’re studying, or they just don’t seem all that relevant, it doesn’t have to be that way.
It is easier to stay motivated if learning is connected to an end goal, and Positive Psychology has a handy article all about effective goal setting. If boredom in class is draining your motivation, check out our 6 boredom busters.
Worried about what comes next?
It might feel like everybody else knows what they want to do in the future, but the truth is, a lot of them are just as uncertain as you. These decisions can feel like a lot of pressure. It is worth remembering that your choices aren’t set in stone, and you can change direction if you try something, and it isn’t right for you.
Not keen on uni?
Finishing Year 12 helps to give you an edge when it comes to finding a job, so if you don’t see yourself heading to uni, it is worth persisting a bit longer.
That doesn’t have to mean you’re not pursuing other goals.
School-based apprenticeships and VET at school are worth checking out, along with TAFE and specialised trade colleges. Some even give you the opportunity to earn while you learn, and the experience helps you find a job you enjoy when you graduate.
Not liking the school environment?
There are plenty of reasons that students are unhappy with the school environment. You might find it hard to connect with the teachers; you may not be getting on with other students; or the structure at school may not work well for you.
If it is only a class or two that is problematic, you could look at asking to switch. Remember, you always have choices and don’t necessarily need to “stick it out” when you are finding it unbearable. Speak to a guidance officer or teacher if you feel that a class or subject change may be what you need.
In a survey of Year 12 students, nearly half (54%) felt that too much was expected of them. When pressure was high, motivation was affected: almost a third reported an increase in procrastination.
Where did the pressure come from? For some, family and schools were pushing too hard, but the greatest number said the pressure came from within.
If the pressure is weighing you down, tell someone you’re struggling. Chat with your teacher, or school guidance officer, if you can. Kids Helpline (24/7) has free counselling and a lot of resources to help with school and family pressure.
It is tempting to overload yourself with mountains of study, especially before exams, but this is usually counter-productive, and you just end up tired.
When it is hard to find balance, there are loads of time management tools to help. Planning a schedule can help you to work more productively, and don’t forget to allocate time for exercise, relaxing with friends, and plenty of sleep.