Well, it’s here- the final year of high school. The year that I’m sure most of you didn’t think would actually be really real. I certainly didn’t ever think I’d make it to Year 12 (or through to the other side) but here I am.

While you’re trying your darn hardest to keep yourself mentally sane, you have to deal with a workload that is chockers full of assessments, you have to meet the expectations you place on yourself to make your parents happy and you have to balance your social life.

It can honestly be a shit storm.

But, it doesn’t have to be a total mess; just follow these tips.

1. Hang out with my friends more

This year will really test your friendships. You’ll create ever-lasting memories and you’ll also have petty arguments over stupid stuff that doesn’t really matter.

Despite all the drama, your friends are going to be what gets you through this year.

They know what you’re going through because they’re going through the exact same thing and even having mini breakdowns before an exam together is weirdly comforting.

Take the time to hang out, create some memories and really appreciate your mates.

2. Save money

Late night Maccas runs, Kmart hauls and endless cups of coffee all cut into your bank account. As does getting your Ps and all the other stuff you can’t avoid at the end of Year 12 (like formal).

Save your cash while you can, before exams take over your life and you’ll trying to make your pay from one shift last three weeks.

3. Actually use a planner

This is a sure fire way to really feel like you’ve got your life in order. It only takes a minute of your time to write down your list of homework and deadlines for assessments and it’ll save you an intense amount of pressure later on when you see a deadline looming.

4. Stationary shopping

Stay with me on this one. I’m a sucker for retail therapy but there is something about stationary shopping that really resonates with me.

I find joy in buying folders, pens and highlighters. If anything, it only actively motivates me for a week, but that’s better than nothing, right? The illusion of productivity is always a must.

5. Cleaned my computer/organised folders

Whether you write down your notes the old-fashioned way or whip out your laptop and scribe entire lessons, it’s always handy to have your storage cleared and organised to save you the fright of potentially losing it all.

Make sure you’ve backed everything up and that all your folders are organised so you can find worksheets and notes easily.

If you can’t manage that and every single document on your computer must stay on your desktop, at least label them something other than a random mix of letters so that you can search for something when you need it.

6. Made some banger playlists

The idea of going straight home to study for an upcoming exam can ruin your whole mood. Like a domino effect, you can soon plummet into a spiral of procrastination. But, there is a way to get out of that rut and that is by listening to music.

Take some time and create a handful of playlists of music that speaks to you. It can help you focus and block out any distractions that are outside your studying bubble.

7. Backed myself

I’ve left this one last for a good reason.

It’s easy to get caught up in stressing about unreasonable, unrealistic and out of this world expectations. But, you just need to take a big breath and think to yourself that it actually doesn’t really matter and back yourself to just get through the year.

No one said your final year would be a piece of cake, but if you stay on top of things, cut yourself some slack and try and enjoy it as much as possible, you’ll be able to get through it- and that’s a bloody achievement in itself.