Grade 12 is said to be one of the most challenging years of high school as it serves as a bridge to post-secondary. Meeting the expectations of a post-secondary school, such as grades, extracurricular activities, and the overall application process itself, is a bumpy ride. However, as a former distressed incoming grade 12, reading about other previous students' grade 12 experiences and how they coped, truly helped me prepare for the year. This made me think of things I could do differently to help me manage through the year academically and during the university application process. Today, I am writing this blog to share what I’ve learned.
To begin, time management is a vital skill to have this year. When it comes to school-work and writing your supplementary application for university, dividing your tasks evenly will help you accomplish many tasks. During my first semester of high school, I began writing my supplementary as soon as it was available because it gave me more time to complete it before the deadline. Everyday, I set aside one hour of my time to bring in new ideas and edit my essay to perfection. I cannot emphasize this enough: do not wait until the last minute to write your supplementary applications, as you will need time to edit your application. Looking back at it now, I believe I spent more time reviewing my essays than writing because I wanted to avoid grammatical errors. Grade 12 homework can pile up unexpectedly, so dividing your time to focus on each subject will help you succeed this year.
Secondly, as the school year slowly returns to normal, schools will be enforcing mandatory exams for this year and forward. While many of us had not written an exam in years, tests are still just as stressful for me. Finding a small study group to help you study, prepare, and serve as a social outlet was a method that truly helped me relieve stress. Personally, I found that studying independently was ineffective and did not produce the desired results I expected. However, studying with my peers in small groups after school and even during lunch in the hallway met my personal expectations for the course and for university requirements. Studying in groups motivated me to study because my friends encouraged me as we all had the same goal of passing the course and meeting university expectations, in addition, it provided us with a friendly competition, which we truly enjoyed.
At last, be yourself and look after yourself. When it comes to school and university decision stress, grade 12 can get the best of you. However, grade 12 is your final year of high school and it’s about making final memories with your friends, as some of them will grow apart after graduation. Your mental health is important, and your education should not deprive you of it because it will reflect on your habits. Furthermore, universities value students with unique personalities over students with perfect grades. So, while juggling school and your personal life, remember to take care of yourself and keep up with your personal interests outside of school.
All things considered, meeting university expectations should not get the best of you because grade 12 will be one of the most memorable years of high school. I hope my tips help you navigate through the school year, and if they don't, talk to your teacher, guidance counsellor, vice-principal or any other social support available, as they will always make every effort for their students and want to see them succeed.