Life After Year 12

Congratulations on being part of the Class of 2020 and successfully completing Year 12 despite the challenges of this year. Until this pandemic is over, life after Year 12 will also be a new frontier land.

There will be no immediate escape to schoolies up north, end of Year 12 family trip overseas, volunteering in a third world country or a gap year in faraway places. The current options for 2021 have narrowed to tertiary education, working, or taking a break at home or somewhere within our shores.

You have spent more than two thirds of your life in a school uniform and in a regimented daily routine. Life from here on will be different and it will take some adjustment to the way you have always done things in the past.

Here are some useful tips for life beyond year 12

Stay connected with your friends

This year we have found new ways to stay connected in a meaningful way with our friends. As we start to enjoy more freedom of movement, ensure that you take incremental steps towards socialising normally again.

After such a long period of time in social isolation, do not be alarmed if you feel overwhelmed by large group gatherings or gatherings that go for extended periods of time. Ease your way back into socialising but remember friends are also an important part of life. Often the friends you make at school will be lifelong friends. So, make sure you find a way to keep in touch with your friends and have them as part of your life.

Take the opportunity to learn some key life and competency skills

You will find from this week onwards as your final exams draw to an end that you are going to have a significant amount of time on your hands. It is important to take a few days break after your final exam and recharge your body and mind as they will certainly need it. However, now is also the time to get busy and do something for yourself. Go out and learn a new hobby, start a new interest, get that driver’s licence or learn household management 101 skills from your parents or grandparents.

Previous Year 12s have also been proactive in learning life management skills (learning about adulting as they have told me in past years). This has been about learning how to manage your personal affairs (banking, tax, medical, insurance, job applications, dealing with bills, responding to requests for information or invitations, time management and weekly planning).

While you have the time, think about learning some other skills (soft and hard) that will add to your CV. Undertake a Responsible Service of Alcohol course, First Aid Certificate, Barista course or volunteer for a good cause. If you are intending to work in a setting with children under the age of 18 then apply for your “Working with Children Check”. You must be 18 to apply for a check.

Get a part time or casual job and save some of what you earn

During this pandemic year, many jobs have disappeared but right now there are a lot of businesses looking for casual and part time staff during the Christmas and summer period. Do remember this summer, Australia is going to be on holiday in Australia. There will be unprecedented demand in holiday destinations and cities. It is highly likely you will find work in hospitality, retail and food and beverage outlets if you want it. Also, look to working within the family business if the opportunity exists. It will be great for the CV and your extra labour will certainly be appreciated by family during these times.

Take the opportunity to work as much as you can and save so that once the pandemic is over you will be able to enjoy travel again. Having a good amount of savings means you will be able to take off during the uni/tafe breaks and enjoy a holiday perhaps a little different than the one you may have had on a student budget during normal times.

Building a nest egg is prudent and can help with your first car purchase, investing or simply having a reserve so you can focus on your studies and work less hours during semester time.

Embrace university/tafe life or work

If you have decided tertiary education is for you then embrace it wholeheartedly while the world is finding a new order and the full-time job market is recovering. At the end of your course there will be a vastly different way of working day to day than the status quo of the working week before 2020.

Stay abreast of the changes to workplaces during your course so that you can adapt and adjust your study programme to ensure that any skills you acquire or work you engage in are relevant. If you have decided to take on an apprenticeship or traineeship or simply to work, then seize the opportunities that are offered and find a good work/life balance. Once this pandemic is over you will be well positioned for new career opportunities.

Find ways to explore your local area, city, state, and our country

Until this year, overseas travel has been a way of life for most Australians. Australia is a wonderful country with so much to see and do. For the past few decades exploring the real Australia has been the reserve of retirees.

So, while overseas travel is currently not an option get proactive and take the opportunity to see this amazing country. Australia is not a country you can see in a day or a week or even explore properly in a year. Plan day, weekend and weeklong trips with family and friends for 2021. There will be some amazing adventures and lifelong memories to be made.

Be kind to yourself and spend time with family

2020 has changed many aspects of our lives. We have had to learn to be more tolerant, patient, resilient and draw on our mental strength and survival skills. Be patient with yourself as we cannot have normal expectations of ourselves while these are not normal weeks.

The value of family has been brought into sharp focus this year. The lost time with loved ones, especially older family members, has been hard for everyone. Now that we can reconnect with family try to spend time with the young, not so young and older family members. These important moments in time during this pandemic period will become part of the fabric of your life in the years to come.

Goodbye and thank you to your tutor(s)

This has not been our usual goodbye to the Class of 2020. At Avivo, some students completing Year 12 have been with us for over 7 years. It has been an unusual experience this year not seeing you in person and being able to wish you well for the future.

We wanted to provide you with one last opportunity to debrief on exams and say thank you to your tutor(s). If you want to book in a quick catch up (15mins) with your tutor next week via AvivOnline then use this link (there is no charge for the catch up).

If you want to thank your tutor(s) with a gift, then it is super easy to do this year, as we have outsourced the gift process to Appleseed Perfect Gift Box. Here is a link to their gift selection for tutors.

I wish you the absolute best for the years ahead and thank you for being a part of the Avivo experience.

It has been a privilege and an honour to see you reach this milestone in life and I will watch with interest your journey ahead. Now go and have some fun; it's time.

By Sonia Francis, Founder | Director | Avivo Elite Tutoring