The end of the year is approaching fast and with it, the end of school for good.

Like it or not, after the year is out, you aren’t going to be seeing all of your friends every day. Sure, some of them you’ll still see plenty of, but there’s a bunch that will slowly start to drift away.

It’s nothing to stress about, but it does mean that you should be making the most of every moment you have with them, starting right now.

1. Movie marathon

Stock up on snacks, drag all the mattresses into the living room, cancel your plans for the following day, and have yourselves a movie sesh. Whether everyone chooses a movie each, you devour an entire season on Netflix, or you attempt the entire Harry Potter series, the choice is yours.

2. Sunrise hike

Pretty much the exact opposite of a movie marathon. Find somewhere with an amazing view, wake up while it’s still dark and get there in time for the sunrise. There’s honestly no better way to start the day - especially if you bring along a delicious brekky picnic to rip into with ya mates while the sun casts its first rays upon the day. Poetic, isn’t it?

3. Actually attend school carnivals

I know, after years of school carnivals all throughout primary school, and then the same again through high school, it’s hard to get excited about another school carnival.

But once you leave high school at the end of the year, there’s not going to be any more of them and if you told me now that I could take a day off work to race my friends in backstroke or run around a field throwing javelins, I’d be halfway to the pool quicker than you could shoot a starter pistol.

So, just one last time, get your mates together, don your house colours, and cheer each other on for one last hurrah as you come probably the closest you’ll ever get to competing in the Olympics.

4. Get your licence

I’m not going to nag you too much about this but if you haven’t already, it’s time everyone in your group got their licence.  Make it a team effort and push each other to get those hours up.

Don’t keep passing it off until you’re older because before you realise it, you’ll be that mate that’s 25 and still on their Ls. Sure, it’s funny now, but it’s only so long until your mates are sick of giving you lifts and you’re tired of catching the train everywhere. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Go on a road trip

The freedom, the Maccas runs, the uncomfortable naps in the car, the windows down and the tunes up – how good are road trips?

Your road trip doesn’t have to be days and days of driving. Even going for a couple of hours out or into the city is a good way to see something other than your backyard. While there’s a tonne of sunny coastal towns that make the ideal road trip destination in summer, places like Canberra are pretty perfect if you’re looking to head off for a winter weekend drive.

If you need another reason to head on a road trip, then uni open day season is it. There’s nothing better than having your mates by your side when trying to make the massive decision of what you’re going to do next year and there’s plenty of open days coming up for you to check out. Cruise around and have a look at whatever uni takes your fancy.

The Australian National University (ANU) has their Open Day on Saturday August 31 and is a great place to start if you’re sussing out universities. Not only is the day completely free but ANU will also be running a bunch of workshops, exhibitions and tours so you can get a vibe for everything that happens around the uni (not just the lecture theatre).

The atmosphere of a uni is super important to your study and ANU Open Day lets you suss out the campus and the uni accommodation, which means that you can get a feel for where you would be living if you decide you want to move to Canberra to study. 

What’s even better is that if you register for ANU Open Day on their website, you’ll go in the draw to win a MacBook Pro and some noise cancelling headphones – a pretty good haul to bring home if you do snag the prize. Or, if you’re struggling to round up the troops and pack up the car, check out our top tips for organising a road trip over here.