Whoever said Year 12 was the best year of school clearly wasn’t thinking about the actual work involved, because we’re only six months in and the pressure’s already starting to mount. The classes are getting more intense and the study notes denser, and all anyone seems to be worried about are the upcoming exams 

We’re not really about that at Year13. We understand that success is important, but we also know there are all kinds of ways to achieve that success. And exams and ATARs are definitely not the only way to measure it. Make sure you do your best and all of that, but it’s important that you remember to chill, too. Here’s why. 

To keep your mental health in check

Say it with me: my mental health is more important than a mark. Unfortunately, students everywhere are feeling more and more stressed out, showing symptoms of mental health issues and seeking special provisions in their final exams. There’s a lot of pressure thrown on you these days, so do what you gotta do to help maintain some perspective whether that’s reaching out to friends and family or even professional services if you need them. 

In this weird transitional phase there’s a lot to think about – finishing school, saying goodbye to your friends, figuring out what you’ll do next and potentially moving out of home afterwards. Stressing about exams is something you can ease up on because let’s be real – ATAR is just a number and it won’t matter once you’re studying or out in the workforce.  You may not even need one if you don’t plan on going to uni

It’s important for success

Striking that balance between studying and having fun is definitely a hard thing to get right but doing so will make your final year that much more memorable. Not only will you benefit from spending time with your mates, playing sport and all those other things you love, you’ll actually do considerably better if you’re not a sleep-deprived, anxious mess come exam time. 

So remember to take care of yourself, whether that means staying active and playing sports despite exams, resting well and even meditating if that’s your thing (if it was good enough for Steve Jobs it’s good enough for you). You’ll be better off for it now and later. 

VET courses lead to almost any career you want

There’s a common misconception that uni is the only way to get into certain careers when actually there are vocational education and training (VET) pathways into heaps of jobs you wouldn’t expect – things like architecture, marketing, cyber security, nursing and HR.

Plus, of course, there are VET quals for occupations like fashion, hospitality and construction and infrastructure. Jobs in construction are in serious demand, with 300,000 more workers expected to be needed in Australia over the next ten years. VET also specialises in high-tech areas like engineering and IT, which is super important since we live in a world absolutely reliant on technology. There are also courses that can lead to jobs in the industries expected to see the biggest growth in the next five years, including healthcare, education and retail trade.

These jobs are well-paid and the VET qualifications you need to get them can take less time to finish than a uni degree. Plus, VET graduates are more likely to find a full-time job after their training, especially those in a trade occupation

Better still, VET gives you skills you can take into any job, and skills that can benefit all areas of your life. You’re taught by teachers that are actual practitioners in the field who have current and relevant experience, and the training is hands on, meaning much less focus on essays and exams. So when stress is starting to hit, be sure to remind yourself – there are plenty of sweet options and the stress just isn’t worth it.

Click here to find out more info about VET.