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August 18, 2019, 02:53:57 am

Author Topic: Words of Advice for the Class of '19  (Read 1314 times)  Share 

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Yertle the Turtle

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Words of Advice for the Class of '19
« on: January 07, 2019, 05:29:03 am »
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I asked for this for the Class of '18, and now it's our turn to give back to the AN community. Please give your advice to the coming classes of Yr 12 students.

Here is mine:

Take care of your health
Your health is more valuable than you think. It was a piece of advice that I'm sorry that I never really was given/listened to. I personally had a few health issues towards the end of the year, and I'm certain that it impacted my year. Getting a cold, which then just left me not thinking straight for several weeks affected my SAC scores, and ultimately my study pattern at the wrong end of the year, all because I refused to think that it was a big deal. I just thought it would go away and didn't do much to get rid of it, and I really should. Moral? Take care of yourself. A cold may not feel that big a deal, but crush it. It will help.

Communication
I had to put up with the pressure of other people's expectations of me for the whole of my VCE, and it seriously impacted my performance. I'm not going to blame others for not doing as well as I expected/wanted, but I will say that, had I really gone out of my way to let people who cared about me know that they were damaging my performance by their expectations, then I expect I would have found the year much easier. Moral? Often people don't understand the connotations of their actions, and small things like simply telling them can change things. I was under pressure of expectations from my family, my school community and my friends, and it get me to the stage when I broke down crying after a SAC that, for the first time, I found I couldn't understand (being sick at the time didn't help either). People expected things of me, and I felt terrible because I couldn't live up to them.

Exercise and working
I walked 2km to and from the station almost every day of my VCE, and I'm pretty sure it does improve your mental health as well as your physical health. Having down time where you are doing physical activity really helps you to get away from school thoughts, and the exercise also helps you to feel better about yourself. Besides this, I did a job that had me walking ~20km once a week, and this helped me to feel better about myself, besides the fact that I was earning money, another thing that can seriously help you build your self-image in a really good way.

Sleep
Now I haven't studied anything about sleep techniques etc, but I do know one thing: The time in bed before you go to sleep is absolutely key. It is the time where, as your body shuts down for the night, your brain runs over all your failures and problems. You worry and attack yourself, at least if you are anything like me. Almost every night, the half-hour/hour before sleep was a flagellation session, as I ran over all my failures, attacked myself for my procrastination, and generally made my life more difficult. Moral? Have something to fill that time. I don't know how that would work for anyone else, but if I were to do it over again I would find soothing or beautiful music, like meditation piano (something I'm not generally a fan of, but it can be nice and have its uses) and listen to that until I fell asleep. Another type of music would be triumphant (I'm looking at you, Tchaikovsky, Holst, John Williams) to take your mind off your own failings. Just something, to cover that really crucial time is important. Also the quantity of sleep is important. For me I found that getting up later allowed me to work more at night, and that worked for me, but find whatever works for you, and try to make it satisfying.

Relationships
Friends
Having a life outside of textbooks is really valuable. I was personally really blessed to be able to get really close to some friends at school, and the time I spent with them was really great for my 2018. Playing footy and soccer on the school oval ended up being the absolute highlight of my year, and their support really helped me through the year more than anything else. You guys on AN were also a massive booster, so shoutout to all you guys as well, thanks for your massive support. It is these kinds of relationships that are instrumental to building a good year in what is, undoubtably, a tough year. Look the toughness in the face with your friends behind you, and you will find it is easier. I personally found that last year drew me closer to some people and further from others, but it is a price I'm glad I paid, as the relationships I built are really important to me now.

Classmates
Don't forget, that your fellow "Class of '19"ers are in the same boat as you. Building a strong relationship with your classmates can do a lot to really improving your year. It was something I personally found hard, being considered the "argumentative one" in a small class, where there were lots of disagreements. In hindsight I should have picked my battles much better and tried to strengthen the fellow feeling, but that is the past, and towards the end it did improve.
Teachers
These are, in some ways, the most important relationships you will build for the year. I found building relationships with my teachers to be extremely rewarding in many ways. I found I learned more about the subjects they taught, as well as gaining a better understanding of the world, through my interactions with my teachers, and it was one of the most rewarding things I did the whole year. Being in a small school, I knew all the teachers, but getting I was able to get to know some, even some who didn't teach me, very well. I had humorous discussions with one, philosophical and political discussions with another, and learn more about later applications of their subjects from many, and it did a lot to improve my mental health at school. I admit to having struggled in my relationship with one teacher (who else but the English teacher), as I was far too pushy with my opinion (highly negative) of her subject, and I admit to being in the wrong (though in my pushiness, not my opinion :P ). If I had put aside my opinions and just tried to learn, a 40 would not have been out of my reach. Moral: Getting to know your teachers well can be rewarding in many facets, both in-school and real-life, and simply talking to them can make a huge difference that I would encourage you to try to make.
Family
Every family is different, so this is the hard part. I didn't cope well with my family's expectations of me, and in consequence I damaged my relationships with many of my family members. That was done all too easily, and may be very hard to repair, and if I had confided in them the year might have gone differently. However, in the long run, by severing a little from them, I have improved myself socially, and for this I am grateful.

School and subjects
This advice is more specific to school than to life. Stay ahead at all costs, and never by lulled into a false sense of security. My Spesh score was damaged by starting behind, and failing to care enough about it. My overall scores were damaged by the expectations that I myself had, knowing that I was going to do great. In the end, I did well, but I ended the year with a feeling of disappointment in myself, increased by the fact that everyone seemed to think that I had done fine. "I didn't do fine, I know that I significantly underperformed, and yet everyone is saying that I did how they expected", was my thought pattern and that really hurt. The knowledge that people expected of me something substantially under what I knew I could have got still hurts, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone else. Even when you are performing where you want/need to be at, push harder. You never know how things will change.

Another thing to be aware of is that English does count. I don't like it, and I know that there are many out there who don't either, but it is a fact. I owe a lot to my Physics/Chemistry teacher who had a chat to me a week before the English exam after he heard a conversation between me and the English teacher in which I was ... well, rude. I told her my opinion of her subject and that I didn't intend to study because I didn't care. He called me over and we talked for a hour or so, about English and my viewpoint of life, and that talk encouraged my to make the most of that week to study English, and I'm convinced that it added 5 to my English SS, as well as revealing me to myself a little as who I was. That hurt, but it was extremely valuable. English has to count, so make it count. Never rule out any subject, least of all one that matters necessarily. Trying to maintain a balance will strengthen your year, I promise.

Never avoid your mistakes once you have made them. I know that it is hard to accept that you make mistakes, but I spent the whole year trying to avoid others noticing the mistakes I made. That was made harder by a class that had always felt at a disadvantage to me, and thus anyone doing better than me was a celebration-worthy event. I had caused this by my own arrogance in earlier years and accept full responsibility, but it meant that I never built on my own mistakes, since I tried to hide them all the time. Mistakes are there to build a better future on, as all History students should know, and it is a valuable lesson to learn.

If anyone wants some subject specific words of *haha* wisdom, then I can supply them elsewhere.

Down time
Down time is valuable. How you spend it is important. For me it was not well spent, and I paid the price. Doing work is important, but for me that time also became down time. Good ways to spend down time are spending time with your friends (face to face if possible), exercising or working (for money, not school). Something that keeps you happy is the best way to spend your time. Watching YouTube and playing games are good in moderation, but if, as with me, they spill over into your school time, they are a serious problem. It is very important to separate down time from school time, to keep a plan if possible, and to minimise procrastination. I know this is hard to do, but it is important. The way you spend your time now will help you on into your uni and then work life, so I encourage you to learn now.

Yourself
Please don't go down the flagellation path. Whatever you do is done and it should not be gone over and over again. It just leaves you feeling dissatisfied, and dissatisfaction is really bad for your peace of mind. You are the most valuable thing in the world to yourself. This isn't pride, this is an acceptance that keeping yourself whole and happy, both physically and mentally, is one of the most important things, in VCE, a stressful time, in particular. So I encourage you to take care of yourself in the mental way as well as the physical. After all, you are the most important thing in your life.

Resources
Resources are there to be used. You have an untold store of resources at your feet, most of which you have never tapped. Your friends, your teachers, your family, all of these people have, between them, substantially more understanding of the world, more experiences that could benefit your understanding, and more ways to improve your mind, than you will ever singly have for others. That old, wrinkly great-aunt who everyone at the family gathering avoids has seen many more years than you have, and it may be that that wealth of knowledge is there if you just ask. Many of these, old great-aunts are perfectly willing to help, and are more able to help than young people dream. So pick the brains of those around you. Any tough experience that you are going through will have been gone through, in one way or another by someone around you who would be willing to help you if you were only willing to make the sacrifice of communicating. And I don't deny that it is hard to tell others how you are feeling, it leaves you feeling vulnerable. But despite this it demonstrates your trust, and this in turn can build relationships that are there to help you, and it also allows others to help in a way that they can't when they don't know that anything is wrong. Getting to know yourself is the first step, and the hardest, in this sequence, because before you tell others what is wrong you have to know yourself. But it does seem strange, doesn't it, that I am not the person that knows best the person who I am. That knowledge of yourself can be hard to take, but it is possibly the most valuable knowledge there is. I feel right now as if I'm spewing empty catch-phrases, but they are true and I would encourage you to spend time trying to understand yourself.

Looking ahead
The whole of VCE is just a lot of nothing trying to get you places. In most subjects you will find that what they teach you now, though it may have an element of truth, may actually be false. They spend so much time teaching you lies, because you don't yet have the knowledge to understand the truth, and thus VCE is just a journey to the future, and thus keeping an eye out to the future is really important and valuable. Having a fixed destination can make the journey easier than aiming for something unknown. I spent the whole year with a fixed destination in mind, but it kept shifting a little. At the start of the year, and then throughout, I was convinced I was going to do Engineering, but first I wavered to a BEd/BEng double, and then to a BEng/BPharm, and then to a gap year, before finally to an apprenticeship. This constant wavering was constantly upsetting my vision of where I wanted to end up, my focus kept changing and it made my year harder. This is one of the perils of looking ahead, as your looking ahead can sometimes cloud the present, but balancing future expectations with keeping control of where you are in the present, and altering your view of the future by your present circumstances is the best way to go. It's not easy, but life is not easy. In the end, I expect to get an offer for a simple BEng, for which I hope the work I put into Physics and Chemistry more than anything else stand me in good stead. For me, the expectation of this allowed me to focus on things that would be of more future value than others will, I hope, be valuable, and it is because of this that looking to the future is important. But still maintain balance. Balance is the most important thing in life, and one of the hardest things to achieve. For you, the Class of '19, I hope that you guys will be able to achieve it in whatever measure you can.

I consider myself entitled to give these words of advice for 2 reasons: 1. Because I finished Yr 12 in 2018, and 2. Because I have not struggled through a high percentage of the problems that people associate with VCE. I have not struggled through them because I just accepted them and went with the flow, and am therefore open to give advice on how to have a different VCE to that which I inflicted on myself. Good luck to you all, and my you try harder than I did, for a better result. I'm behind you guys! Search for balance, and may you all achieve it, as you push through one of the tough years of life! :D
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Tatlidil

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Re: Words of Advice for the Class of '19
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 06:57:28 pm »
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Go hard guys! its now or never for all those year 12's.
You know what your capable of, that you need to show the world (or your school) what your really capable of? you feel that for every other year you haven't shown your potential, and You Have Potential? YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE! Everyone will remember you from how you performed this year! So my advice? Show your true power, your potential, do the best you ever!
And when you burn out...SMASH THROUGH IT, it will definitely be so worth it at the end. Then you will have no regrets, because you performed at your very best, you have achieved what you thought was unachievable. Lets not get off track here, do not visualise the conclusion...MAKE.IT.HAPPEN. Right now..I'm serious, right now, go and do what you need to do for you to be the best at what you love, because I know you chose the subjects according to what you enjoy, right? Read those books, demolish those equations, Learn and be smarter than anyone else as much as possible!
Good Luck to all of you preparing to go through the toughest part of school, this going to be one hell of a year!
Goal:
2019 - Specialist [50], Physics [50]
ATAR: 99+

Bucket Hat

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Re: Words of Advice for the Class of '19
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 08:24:57 pm »
+9
Go hard guys! its now or never for all those year 12's.
You know what your capable of, that you need to show the world (or your school) what your really capable of? you feel that for every other year you haven't shown your potential, and You Have Potential? YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE! Everyone will remember you from how you performed this year! So my advice? Show your true power, your potential, do the best you ever!
And when you burn out...SMASH THROUGH IT, it will definitely be so worth it at the end. Then you will have no regrets, because you performed at your very best, you have achieved what you thought was unachievable. Lets not get off track here, do not visualise the conclusion...MAKE.IT.HAPPEN. Right now..I'm serious, right now, go and do what you need to do for you to be the best at what you love, because I know you chose the subjects according to what you enjoy, right? Read those books, demolish those equations, Learn and be smarter than anyone else as much as possible!
Good Luck to all of you preparing to go through the toughest part of school, this going to be one hell of a year!

^^Couldn't disagree with this more:

1. Yr 12 isn't about 'proving' yourself; it's just a stepping stone into a tertiary course. It should also be a fun time.
2. Yr 12 isn't your only chance to show off and 'prove yourself'; plenty of room for that in uni/life
3. Very few people will remember anyone by their VCE performance. Basically your results only matter for university admission/scholarships and if you want to work as a tutor
4. Definitely don't smash through burn out. Whether you've got an exam in 11 months or 11 hours, the most important thing is to take care of your wellbeing
5. You can definitely come away from VCE with regrets despite having results that give you personal satisfaction (exhibit A: me)
6. please don't have the mindset of "be smarter than everyone else". It's a way better learning environment for everyone (yourself included) if you all try and help eachother (exhibit B: ATAR Notes)
7. Yr 12 isn't necessarily the toughest part of school. It shouldn't be hell. It should be a fun challenge :)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 09:01:42 pm by Bucket Hat »

Tatlidil

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Re: Words of Advice for the Class of '19
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 09:19:37 pm »
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^^Couldn't disagree with this more:

1. Yr 12 isn't about 'proving' yourself; it's just a stepping stone into a tertiary course. It should also be a fun time.
2. Yr 12 isn't your only chance to show off and 'prove yourself'; plenty of room for that in uni/life
3. Very few people will remember anyone by their VCE performance. Basically your results only matter for university admission/scholarships and if you want to work as a tutor
4. Definitely don't smash through burn out. Whether you've got an exam in 11 months or 11 hours, the most important thing is to take care of your wellbeing
5. You can definitely come away from VCE with regrets despite having results that give you personal satisfaction (exhibit A: me)
6. please don't have the mindset of "be smarter than everyone else". It's a way better learning environment for everyone (yourself included) if you all try and help eachother (exhibit B: ATAR Notes)
7. Yr 12 isn't necessarily the toughest part of school. It shouldn't be hell. It should be a fun challenge :)

Sorry sorry, it was meant to be a joke...
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 09:27:22 pm by Tatlidil »
Goal:
2019 - Specialist [50], Physics [50]
ATAR: 99+