Starting Year 12 has probably been in the back of your mind for a while now. You’ve been watching the students in the year above you sit their exams and realised that it’s not going to be long until that’s you.

Starting Year 12 can be super overwhelming. Suddenly, your work is actually counting towards something and your days of bludging in English are over. However, let’s not lose hope because here’s a bunch of advice so you can start Year 12 on the right foot.

1. Get your shit together

If you want to take Year 12 seriously, throw away all your Year 10 hooliganism, and actually sit down and think about how well you can go if you put your mind to it.

Study is not fun, you know this; but if you’re hoping to live till 100, one year of intense study isn’t going to hurt you. Start getting serious about powering through assignments and memorise that Othello essay until you’re reciting it at parties. You’ll thank yourself later.

2. Don’t burn anymore bridges

You’d hope that by Year 12, everyone would have their shit together. High school drama should be over by now but, if it’s not, you’ve got to nip it in the bud before it’s too late.

If anyone continues to keep old feuds going, all they’re going to do is waste their time while the rest of the year group (hopefully) comes together for your final year, so ditch anyone who’s toxic.

Your friends are a key part to making it through the year and you’ll need them by your side on the home stretch so, suck it up and make up if you currently have any fights going on.

3. Avoid burning out

While you should be studying harder and longer than you have before, don’t rush into things too hard. The year is going to feel long, and if you push yourself to your limits too early, all you’ll end up is fatigued by the time final exams roll around.

This year is a marathon, not a sprint; pace yourself.

4. Don’t become a hermit crab

Just because you should study a bit more, doesn’t mean your social life is ruined (despite what your teachers are telling you).

Take advantage of everyone turning 18 and attend every house party you can, because they’re not going to last forever (trust me, once you hit your 20s, house parties start to die and you’ll be missing the days of getting blind in your best friends backyard).

Of course, balance is key, but you deserve to give yourself as many breaks as needed.

5. Stay calm

Yes, Year 12 is going to be stressful, and yes, there’s going to be moments where you’ll just wish it would end.

But, don’t underestimate your resilience. High school is stressful in itself and you’ve already gone through so much, this is just the last chapter. While doing well in Year 12 is nice,  no assignment or exam is worth compromising your mental health.

It’s going to be a wild ride. You’re probably definitely going to cry at some point. You’re eventually going to want to burn your notes, give up your dreams and resign yourself to a life where all you do is lay in bed and watch Netflix.

You’re going to make some of the best memories of your life, with people who will shape the person you’ll grow up to be. It’s a bit of a wild ride, and there’s going to be plenty of moments where you wish it was over.

But trust me when I say that this year only makes up a tiny fraction of your life and one day you’re going to look back and wonder what you were ever stressing about.