Goodbye School Certificate! (Hello, Higher School Certificate)

So Year 10 is over and you’re about to walk on stage to receive your graduation certificates, in a few weeks you’ll get your results with another piece of paper saying, “Congratulations! You’ve done the School Certificate!” So what do you do now? Sure it almost seems as easy as, “PARTY!!!” but it’s not really the case when it comes to your education, is it? No, unfortunately we all have to come to terms with the whole idea of “NEXT YEAR”. As much as we want to stop it, time seems to ruin the fun and tells us that school’s back and summer’s gone.

For many of you Year 11 seems ages away, but believe me, Year 11 comes and goes just as quickly as you blink. I was not ready at all for Year 11 – the standards were different, the expectations were different, the load was different and even the marking was different!

Here’s what you need to know about Year 11:

1. It’s a taste of the HSC – what you’re study habits are like in Year 11 will be a reflection of what it will be like in Year 12, so just like Julie said, get a HEAD START.
2. It’s four terms packed into three – a whole year’s work in three terms.
3. It’s NOT a waste of time – like I said, what you do in Year 11 is what you’ll do in Year 12. Year 11 is your skill-building year.

Did I just freak you out?

I shouldn’t have, it’s just a reminder that time is precious; because in reality, what you do in Year 11 will also be the foundation of what you do in your tertiary education (Uni/TAFE). If you start early, your old bad habits will change faster than if you start late.

So here are…

Six Ways to Survive the “In Between” (aka. Year 11)

1. Remember: YOU chose your subjects. Besides, English, every other subject is on your timetable because you chose it – granted, you even chose what level of English you wanted to do. I hope you chose subjects that you enjoy doing, not because your friends are doing them. So, if you’re complaining, think really hard about why you chose the subject in the first place.

2. Make a STUDY PLAN. It’s as easy as getting a calendar or using your school diary. Map out when your assessments are due and see how many are on the same week so you can plan which one should be started earlier than the others. It’s a good way to stay on top of things.

3. Treat your subjects with EQUAL PRIORITY. All of your teachers will say that their subject is important, but in truth, ALL your subjects are just as important as each other, why? Because YOU chose them. Treating all your subjects equally means:
a. Doing your homework for ALL your subjects
b. Knowing which assessments should be done before others (tip: look at the weight [percentage %] of the assessment)
c. Using your “study periods” (“free’s” – a period where you don’t have any subject at all) well.

4. Make notes/ summaries along the way. It will be a heaven sent when you get to you exam period. You won’t be stressing out because you’ll be ready to go – the best part is: it’s written in a way YOU understand!

5. Respect your Teachers. It seems like an easy concept, but what do you do when you don’t like your teacher? If you don’t like your teacher, then you don’t learn anything because you’re too busy not liking them. If you show them respect, you’re not only getting the education you want, but you’re also allowing them to teach you in the best way possible. Respect is not a game of “you give it to me first”, it’s about catering for the majority rather than singling out a person, meaning, sometimes you have to do what’s best for the entire class, rather than yourself. If it’s really not working, maybe you have to change your subject choice.

6. Don’t be afraid to TAKE A BREAK. Your senior years are not an exile to Social Siberia, if they were you’d be there until you graduated your university degree. But taking a break is not code for procrastination, no, it means allowing yourself time to breathe and even get some sleep. I have had friends staying up in the crazy hours of the morning just finishing their assessments that they’ve had for two weeks! Procrastination became their friend, until it slapped them in the face with a deadline. Remember your brain is a muscle; it needs just as much mental rest as your body needs physical rest. But remember, even metal exercise is as important as physical exercise.

So I’ve completely freaked you out that you go to Plan B, huh? I’m just kidding; I know for some of you, the whole “school thing” is not for you. For you guys, it might be:

· Taking an apprenticeship or
· Getting a job

For those of you taking an apprenticeship, you can’t escape TAFE, so it’s probably best that you know what you’re getting yourself in for. Here are some tips:

1. Apply to TAFE early – “Better late than never,” should never be your moto.
2. Know what you’re applying for (ie. be sure you know what classes you’re taking).
3. Prepare yourself for other types of study skills – TAFE is like Uni, it’s ALL your own work. Don’t expect someone to hand you everything you need.

For those of you getting a job, you can’t escape learning either! Here are some tips for you:

1. Know about the company you’re working for – get to know how things work, don’t just stick the basics of what’s in the store, but what the store is actually about.
2. Never underestimate the power of CUSTOMER SERVICE. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how to be polite, but you’ll see, even the hardest customers can be softened by the ease of humility on you part.
3. Always smile! Look like you’re enjoying your job – happy sales person, happy customer.

No matter what you’re doing, learning is never out of the equation, just be sure your prepared for the road ahead of you. Your senior years can be the best years of your life – but never limit yourself. Here’s one more tip no matter what year you’re in:

“Never aim higher than the next number. If you get a 12/15, aim of 13/15; remember that pride comes before a fall.”
Philip K. (aka. Dad)

-Anvie (S4S Coaching)

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