They tell us that this is the beginning of the end.
The home stretch, the grand finale, the conclusion of 13 years of education that is all we’ve ever known. Something to be looked back on as the 'good old days’, where we were young adults with our entire lives ahead of us, never truly realising our potential and now forever nostalgic for it.
However, I choose to remain optimistic. This isn’t the finish line, this is simply the end of the beginning - one minor chapter of our lives that needs to end so we can start anew as adults. This all sounds poetic and profound, but attitude is everything.
I’ve spent the past week being told by my teachers and previously graduated students that this will be the hardest, most stressful and overall depressing year of my life. Not a wonderful motivator if I’m being honest, but it’s all in your perspective. I could predict my year to go the way they are describing. I’ll be stressed out by the workload, occasionally regret my subject choices and have a mental breakdown before exams. I’ll cry a dozen times, and then I’ll cry some more over my study scores and ATAR no matter what I get because there is always that little voice saying “what if….”.
Or, I could focus on the good stuff whenever it comes up. Having a class where I learn something fascinating; celebrating my friends' eighteenth birthdays; getting a good score on one of my SACs; a weekend out with my friends or family; valedictory and achieving my desired ATAR. This will not prevent the impending stress or the inevitable breakdowns, but they will not stop these moments if I don’t let them.
I look forward to the highs and lows, this rollercoaster of a year, because that is how reality works. Like Year 12, the rest of life will be like a rollercoaster - this won’t be something new or different to the norm. This will just be the final year of me being able to say I’m in high school.
So I predict that my Year 12 will be realistic, not good and not bad, and assuredly not boring. But it will be 365 days that will pass like the first 17 years of my life already have, slowly and then gone the next second. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.
By Lainey J