Currently fighting your way through Year 12? Wondering if you can balance extracurriculars, friends, family, fun and study? Want to be inspired by a High School student ready to take on the world? Or simply want to reflect on your High School years (like ENID did)? 

Let us introduce you to Violet, a Year 12 Student in Sydney, NSW. Let us know whose story you would like to read about and ASK ENID. 

Hey gal, this is me….. Violet ‘007’ Williams, 17 years old, Year 12.

My extracurriculars:  Literally try and stop me – if it involves debating and public speaking I’m attracted (strangely forcefully) like a magnet. I’m a regular participant (massive keeno) for drama activities, theater sports and musical theater, last year I even had a crack at directing the Middle School play with my two best friends. Some would say I’m a very intermediate sportsman, but that doesn’t stop me from playing Saturday morning Netball, Softball and Basketball (but I’m really in it for the Saturday morning sausage sizzle). As a senior prefect and Captain of Voice at my school I think that it’s really important that I try to get involved and participate in as many activities as I can while still around to motivate the younger girls.

What I’ve liked about school so far… I love the familiarity of the environment, especially as I have been at the same school since primary school. I love that I have a ‘home away from home’, and I that at the end of every day I will leave with a smile on my face even if I walk through the gates dreading the day ahead. I love that school has given me so many opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone, and particularly being in Year 12 being given so much support and care from members of staff who treat you like their own. This year especially, I have developed such strong relationships with my teachers (probably due to my excessive addiction to emailing them on the weekends) and love how my school prioritizes our wellbeing and comfort throughout the HSC.

Call me a weirdo, but I love everything about my wacky and wonderful school – but most of all the people who fill it. From the singing filled train trips on the way to sports carnivals, to the way everyone runs to the canteen to be first to grab the $5 special at lunchtime or singing the awkwardly high notes to hymns in assembly. And sure – I’ve had some bad school days and definitely Year 12 has accentuated their frequent occurrences, but the trick is to not hate the school its to adjust your own attitude and perspective towards it.

Why I can’t wait to get out of here… Everyone always talks about the ‘North Shore Bubble’ and I can certainly say that for the last 13 years I have been a victim of its ‘T1 North Shore and Northern train-line’ sucking ways. Although leaving school will be a daunting step in my life, I cannot wait to go to University and be forced to venture out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Although I am currently a student of such a positive environment where I am so comfortable and supported – is it bad that I want to be thrown into the deep end to see if I could frantically doggy paddle myself afloat? I can’t wait to be challenged again, and be in a new environment where I might not know the name of every person who walks past me or what their Snapchat username is! Because after 13 years, I cannot wait to reinvent myself as someone who is no longer defined by their school or marks or golden badges on their blazer!

Is it sad that I have eaten from the same lunch box and worn the same black leather prison shoes (ily Clarkes) for approximately (13 x 202) 2626 days since I was 5? – No! But I am ready to grow up and wear multiple earrings in my ear? – 100%.

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They do look super pretty.

How I feel (and felt) about the HSC… My relationship with the HSC is definitely on the rocks. My brain can’t decide whether the HSC is destroying me, or if my colour coded study schedule is destroying it.

Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed and bamboozled and in an attempt to settle myself, I make excessive to-do lists which only make things worse. It’s a horrible feeling to know that it can only possibly get worse from here, as older people give condescending ‘pearls of wisdom’ such as “just wait until Trials, that’s when it gets bad…”- who knows whether my body or brain can take much more. It’s hard to be told that the worst is yet to come when you’re already struggling to keep up- and its even harder to be told that “this year doesn’t define the rest of your life” when it means so much to me.

On the flipside however, I sometimes feel like I’ve stumbled (completely miraculously) upon a HSC survival serum – taking one assessment at a time and never letting myself get behind of work or readings. Although it may seem simple, in the wise words of Nike – just do it. The HSC may seem big and scary, but after dissecting it down and organizing myself to the point where I am convinced that this will all be worth it – the HSC is just a challenge in which I’ve set myself (just like finishing the entire 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother).

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We think this belongs in Violet’s room!*

What my goals for my HSC are…. Be able to fit into my Valedictory dress at the end of the year – jokes (but seriously at this rate thing aren’t looking good). My (legit) goal for this year is to make sure that when I walk out of my last exam that I cannot possibly have any regrets about my work ethic or commitment to my studies. On the first day of Year 12 I asked my mum if she would still love me if I didn’t get a better ATAR than my older sister (hope you’re reading this sis!). My mum told me that the only way she would possibly be disappointed in me, is if I didn’t try as hard as I could and make myself proud – because how can anyone else be proud of what you have achieved if you cannot recognize your own merits yourself? So future Vi if you are re-reading this in a couple of months and you have decided to stop caring because it may seem hard or ‘uncool’ to be on study camp when everyone else is at Bondi – keep going!

The most challenging thing about the HSC is… For me I find it incredibly difficult to run off so little sleep as I have had in Year 12– as someone who is obsessed with naps and sleep ins and bingewatching Netflix throughout the night, the HSC has truly destroyed my sleeping pattern… and it will pay for all of the Redbulls I have been forced to drink at 7 in the morning. Although it may seem a first world problem, my body and brain cannot handle being attentive for 7 hours a day, only to go home to do another 4 or 5 while you envy your mum watching Deal or No Deal.

But, the thing about the HSC is that there is not just one challenge to overcome, the challenge is being able to get over the abundance of stress, emotions, hormones, heart breaks, hang overs and challenges that come your way throughout the year. The trick is to be resilient and accepting from the get go that this year will without a doubt continue to be emotionally and physically draining, but it will all be worth it in the end.

What I want to do after my HSC…Right now, I want to study at Sydney University, hopefully doing Speech Pathology and go to College! I cannot wait to travel, with my family and friends and have already started planning and saving up money for trips and adventures. It’s hard right now to tell what the future holds, who knows if I’ll be ready to launch into another year of study after finishing the year – but I guess the good thing is that I don’t have to know right now.

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Can’t wait to travel: and take photos like this!

My advice and tips to girls doing their HSC… 

  • Listen to your tummy – eat when you are hungry! Use lunch time as a time to sit down with your friends and take a break. Our brains need the energy and lets face it our parents won’t be packing our lunch forever.**
  • Take care of your body, remember to actually have a shower and wash your hair (don’t just use the time to stay in bed and go on Facebook)! Wash your face and make yourself feel like a queen, because you are one.
  • Go to Officeworks a lot, having new stationary always motivates me (maybe I’m just a dork) but it’s always a good last resort.
  • Eat Cocopops.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or put your foot in the door to speak up when you’re not receiving it– our parents and teachers actually want you to succeed and will do anything to help you get there, if you need something – ask for it. Don’t just sulk in the common room under a blanket crying.

*It turns out, Violet does have this quote in her room!

**ENID can attest to this. Girls, the lunch packing stops and it is very sad.