I’ve always been a person who wants to do and try everything and take advantage of every opportunity available to me. However, when Year 12 came around and I was announced as School Captain, everyone was quick to tell me that I had to cut the things I loved out of my life in order to achieve the 99 I had my heart set on. I knew that it would be hard to balance my role as Captain, all my extracurricular activities, a social life and my studies, but I definitely didn’t want to give them up, so I had to find ways to make it work.
Having a leadership role in Year 12 is a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop many valuable life skills. It’s important to be a reliable and dedicated leader, whatever that may entail for your position. However, what is equally, if not more important, is ensuring your schoolwork does not take a back seat to the various tasks required of you.
As School Captain, I was required to attend events and meetings, write speeches and organise activities within the school. These responsibilities often required significant amounts of time and effort, but I had one rule that I found really helped me manage. That rule was to try to complete all leadership-related tasks at school (whether that be in free periods, during lunch or after school), so that when I got home in the evening, all I had to focus on was my studies. By doing this, I separated the two tasks so that I was never caught up in one when I should have been doing the other.
Another important thing to remember is that it is always OK to ask for help. Sometimes there can simply be too much on your plate and it may come to the point where your school results will suffer if you try to do it all. It’s at times like these where asking a fellow student to help out or speaking up to a teacher can really be beneficial for you. I experienced this myself where I had to attend events on three different nights after school and also had three SACs all in one week. There was no way I could manage it all, so I went to my year level coordinator who completely understood and rearranged things so that I had the time I needed to study. Your teachers want to see you succeed, so never forget there will always be someone willing to help you out so that you feel at ease and on top of things.
I’ve always loved participating in a wide range of extracurricular activities, so of course that didn’t change just because I entered Year 12. For me, these activities were a great way of expressing myself and taking time to do something other than school work, so I could never have imagined life without them.
In Year 12, I played GSV sport each term, played weekend club netball, tutored at Friday Night School, sung in the Year 12 choir and debated, just to name a few things. While life could get quite busy at times because of all these commitments, I found they were a great release from the pressures of school work. I recommend keeping up the things you love because then you’ll enjoy your year and not feel trapped by SACs and exams. It may mean you have to sacrifice some time you may have previously dedicated to TV or movies, but in the long run you’ll be glad you did it.
After what was without a doubt the busiest yet best year of my life to date, I’m proud to say I was successful in juggling everything to ultimately achieve an ATAR of 99.05 and get into Medicine at Monash like I’ve been dreaming of for years.
I won’t say it was easy, because it wasn’t. But it was fulfilling and enjoyable because I remained true to who I am and what I love to do, while achieving the goals I had set myself.
It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you and sticking to it. You’ll hear over and over again that VCE is a marathon not a sprint, and while it is quite the cliché, it’s true in the way that if you can find a steady rhythm and maintain the pace for the year, there’s no reason you can’t achieve your goals.
If I can do it, you can do it.
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