Where have the past 12 years gone?

The past year has flown by, but more importantly, so have the past 12 years! I can still remember my first day at school and how terrified I felt about entering the big, scary world of primary school. The main worries that crossed my mind back then were something along the lines of who I was going to play with at lunch, whether I would pass the weekly spelling quiz, and trying to remember the times tables for my daily homework.

Fast forward 12 years and I’m now overwhelmed about entering a bigger, scarier and more exciting world than little six-year-old me could ever have fathomed.

The countdown is well and truly on and, yes, it is appropriate to now sing The Final Countdown like you’re an 80s pop star. As I walk past my peers in the hallways, the anticipation and excitement is thick in the air as we near our last days of classes – and ultimately, to our last day of school life. 

Even though the number of days remaining are slowly dwindling, the amount of work that is due and the loose ends that need tying up are certainly not to be underestimated. QTAC preferences, uni scholarship applications, final school assessments, and the rush to find summer employment are all very important things to be thinking about in these last few weeks. 

There are a million different pathways ahead - and I will be the first to admit that it is certainly overwhelming - so a little guidance can’t hurt. Here’s some advice that past students and teachers have offered me about how to finish high school on a positive note and set yourself up for a successful uni application.

Tips for graduating year 12 students

  1.  Fill in all the spots on your QTAC application 
    If you are unsure about what you want to study next year or if you will even meet the program cut-offs, remember to include backup courses in your application. The idea is to put your most-wanted program as number one (even if it seems like a dream goal) and strategically work your way back from there, most likely starting with the programs with the lowest OP requirements first. Even if you don’t meet the requirements for those, your selection will drop straight to your second, third or fourth preferences and so on. 
  2. Mix up your QTAC preferences – for free
    For those of you who haven’t picked up on it already, you can also change your QTAC preference order up to three times for free, so don’t be scared on moving your preferences around. There are a few reasons you may want to do this. For example, you may want to change your preferences after you receive your year 12 results, perhaps you have simply had a change of mind on the degree you want to study or sometimes it would be beneficial to move your preferences after receiving scholarship results. 
  3. Scholarships
    Fill out a scholarship application. It’s free money! It might take an hour or two of your time, but it may prove to be the most cost-effective hour of your whole life. Remember that to be eligible for some scholarships, the university who is offering it may be required to be listed as your number first or second preference in your QTAC application. You can find UQ’s scholarship listings here.
  4. Enjoy it!
    These are our last few days as high-school students. Forever. It could be the last time that you ever see some of your peers. So take the time to talk with your friends, with your wider grade; reminisce on the times you’ve had together. Don’t forget to say thank you to those teachers and staff who have helped you develop into the person you are today – and then ask them to write you a reference.

While this might be an extremely busy time, don’t lose focus just yet; or as it has been phrased at my school – don’t clock off. Schoolies is just round the corner, so everyone can relax and celebrate after the 18th of November. Congratulations and good luck to all graduating year 12 students reading this – we have all done well just to make it to here. Bring on the exciting times ahead! 

Meet the author...

I am a current high school student (year 12), weighing up my options for tertiary study in 2017. I am hoping to study a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and go on to complete a Doctor in Medicine, specialising in neurological rehabilitation. I have many interests and hobbies outside of school, including, being a part of the Queensland Youth Orchestra’s Wind Ensemble.


Last updated:
1 December 2016