Tuesday, July 17 2012

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Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/roome/As adolescents it is a legal requirement that we attend school until of course we reach grade 10 and you reach a fork in the road…. enter full time work and leave, or stay until grade 12. Tough decision, correct? But most of us stay on and battle the final and senior years of schooling until we reach the day that we can walk out the school gates for the last time with a smile on your face saying, “I did it. I made it”.

Although we whinge and complain about school, and on some days completely avoid it altogether with a fake illness or go missing in action, school is a pathway and a helping hand that prepares us for the reality of life, or the ‘real world’.

School is sort of like an umbrella, it protects us from the weight of adulthood and independent lifestyle until the sun comes out and we are ready to break away from our well-known school regime. We all get the “I should try harder” and “Maybe I shouldn’t even bother” thoughts at one point, but we persist and finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel, our freedom from the one place we have known for most of our lives.

This year is my final year of school, the big one! Grade twelve.

At the beginning of this year I arrived expecting it to be like any other, lesson after lesson, book after book, word after work and teacher after teacher. But it wasn’t. It was demanding and hectic, it caused me to mature quickly to be able to understand the seriousness and expectations of final year, and requires you to push yourself everyday for our time is running out.

Every moment I spend here at school a timer is losing seconds, declining rapidly and waiting for the day it gets to ring its’ alarm and scream at me, “That’s it! Your time is up! Out you go, into the real world! Good Luck!” The sheer thought of this makes me heart skip a beat, as who knows what the future holds?

Will I see my friends again?
Will I be successful in a career path?
Will I move out? Stay living at home?
Get married?

Who knows? The fact is we cannot control the future, but we can do our best to prepare ourselves and have some sort of an action plan to send us in a direction that may lead to great things.

So, as that timer loses life and counts down your remaining moments of school life, I have some advice:

Firstly, spend every second you can creating memories with your friends, as life may pull you in different directions and you may not cross paths as much as you would like.

Secondly, avoid conflict/drama/gossip, because after all… who wants to spend their final year causing arguments and losing precious time with good people?

Thirdly, have a plan of some sort that can give you a kick start after school. Whether you chose university, take a gap year or enter the workplace, make it count as it is your first step to becoming an independent and motivated adult.

On top of this, wear your senior jersey with pride! Show it off! You have earned it! I know for a fact mine hasn’t left my back since I unpacked it. Buy a formal dress that is YOURS, nobody elses and make it individual, a reflection of your personality.

And lastly, thank the people that helped you get here. Teachers, parents, principals and peers, because ask yourself….. Where would you be without them?



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