Ok, before anyone starts panicking, don’t worry. The summer break is still a break, and goal number one is taking time off to relax and recharge the batteries. That said, for those in Year 12, there’s a big year ahead. Taking the time now to make sure you’re prepped for what’s to come might make a big difference down the line.
Here are a few ideas on how to make that happen.
Plan for the year ahead
It may seem like a million years away, but once term starts again it starts fast and doesn’t stop. Making sure you don’t fall behind straight away is something you can achieve now.
Ask yourself, do I have all the resources I need? Am I taking the right number of subjects for me? Is there any aspect of my study life that I need to add, remove, or change? Answering these questions will require careful planning and will require you to be honest with yourself about where you’re at and what you think you can handle for the year ahead. For instance, if you think you need to drop a subject, make a comprehensive study timetable for the year to come so you have a good idea of how much time you need to be spending on each subject, and if it’s looking like you’ll be overwhelmed and won’t have time to do everything, then maybe that’s when you should seriously consider it.
Once you have the answers, act on them now. It won’t take you too long, and you’ll be glad you got it out of the way once the work starts again.
Read your texts
Just like the rest of your classes, English is going to burst into your life full speed ahead when you get back. Essays, assessments, new content – it’s all going to hit you at once. I don’t mean to scare you but the sooner you know the reality of the situation, the more you’ll be able to prepare for that from now.
If you get to the start of next term and haven’t even looked at your English texts, that’s probably not going to help your stress levels next year. If you leave your texts to read during the term, you’ll be playing catch up from the word go. So what’s the solution? Get the reading done now, and you’ll have a solid base of knowledge that will allow you to focus on the rest of your English studies during this term.
Strange as it may sound, doing a major work, as stressful and crazy as it is, is also one of the best parts of Year 12. You get far more choice over what you’re working on and your process of working on it, allowing you to set the agenda and take a bit more control of your own learning.
Your first one of these choices, though, is a no-brainer: get started now. Even if it’s just planning the outline or researching the groundwork for a project, getting the ball rolling at this point means you will have enough time to work through your major works at a comfortable pace, get meaningful feedback you can act on from teachers, and create new drafts as you go.
Whether you’re excited or not by the prospect of major works, it’s safe to say you want to avoid making them more stressful than they need to be. Getting started now is the key to achieving this.
Fill in the gaps of your knowledge
If you’re a little hazy on some of your Maths formulas, or if you’re drawing a blank on some key definitions for Chemistry, do yourself a favour and go back over them now.
Once you’re back at school, a lot of what’s to come in most of your subjects is dependant on the material you’ve already covered, and your teachers will assume you’re all up to date. Take the time to go back over the syllabus topics you’ve already covered so that you can dive straight into the new term ready to continue learning.
Get into a healthy routine
Having a healthy routine throughout Year 12 is something that nearly everyone you talk to will swear by. Exercising regularly, eating well, getting plenty of sleep, managing your time – all of these elements have a super positive knock-on effect for your academic performance.
So why not get started now? The stress-free summer period is as good a time as any to establish some good lifestyle habits. If you make living well second nature now, you’ll have much less trouble sustaining your routine once school comes around again.
To have fun. That, after all, is the most important part of your holidays. But also remember that a good start is half the battle; putting these tips into action means you’ll be in the best possible position come February 2020.