23 Apr 2018

Year 12. It’s what you’ve been working towards for the past four years of high school (and the seven years before that). When you finally reach something that has been your goal for a long time, it comes with great expectations.

Chances are, you’re feeling a lot of different things. On one hand, you’re excited because you’re at the end of your 12-year progression through primary and high school. You’re becoming an adult and are ready to step out into the ‘real world’ – a new stage of life that you’re waiting to start, in anticipation. But then there’s the nerves and anxiety that come with such a pivotal year.

This pressure (from peer groups, parents or self-imposed) can be overwhelming. It’s crunch time. Your grades this year will determine which university or tertiary programmes you get into. This alone can make your palms sweat. But then there’s also the adjustments that often don’t get spoken about. Like sitting in home group on your first day back, knowing that it will be the last time you’re greeted back to school after the summer holidays. Your year will be filled with ‘last times’ and goodbyes… but that’s okay.

The link between emotional intelligence & performance

While you might not know what to expect this year, you can prepare for it. I encourage you to build your self-awareness. Emotional intelligence helps you understand and manage your feelings and behaviours, as well as the people around you. Emotions affect how and what we learn. If you can work on being more aware of your emotions and reactions, you’ll be able to better cope with the stress and pressure of Year 12.

The more you know yourself, the easier it is to know what you can and cannot take on. This will help you achieve balance and prevent burnout. Keep up your hobbies and make time for the things you love. Being self-aware, you will find the best way you study, too, because everyone is different. A large part of Year 12 is independent learning, so discovering how best you study early on is critical.

Drop the comparisons. Try to think big-picture instead of getting caught in the trap of comparing marks and feeling frustrated. Keep in mind that everyone has different circumstances, skills, abilities and interests.

Whatever you’re feeling, it’s natural. Remember, you’re not doing this alone. You’ve got your teachers, parents and peers supporting you. If you’d like extra help during this transitional time, send me an email about one-on-one mentoring.