Christina Hewawissa remembers her Year 12 as being all over the place. Not knowing what she wanted to do, she felt like she was being pushed in a myriad of directions. Torn between studying clinical psychology and fashion design, Christina threw herself into producing a folio while pushing her way through difficult subjects for an ATAR that she wouldn’t necessarily need.
In the end, she chose Billy Blue College of Design as her pathway to a career she loves – and it has certainly paid off. A few years later, Christina has graduated from the Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design and runs her own ethical fashion label, Rosa Rosa The Label. She even had the opportunity to showcase her designs at the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival (MBFF) in Brisbane.
While the final stretch of high school is always stressful, the class of 2020 have the added challenge of the first global pandemic in 100 years. Switching between remote learning and face-to-face, school closures and limited opportunities for letting off steam, it’s no surprise this year’s Year 12s are finding it tough.
So, what advice does Christina have for Year 12s to make it that little bit easier?
Take it one step at a time
“Often in year 12, you’re overwhelmed by all the work you have to do. All the assignments, practice exams, and so on. Sometimes it feels like it’s too much.
But if you take it one at a time, you can knock over one task, and then another. Completing just one task is better than nothing. So, just take things slow, and don’t stress about the big picture.”
Don’t be so hard on yourself
“Pressure, pressure, pressure. In year 12, it feels like the pressure never ends. And sometimes it’s not even coming from others, it’s coming from ourselves.
I didn’t really need an ATAR because I could get into Billy Blue with a folio, but I still put this internal pressure on myself. I thought, “I need to get this mark” just to prove that I could. You have to cut yourselves some slack.
If you work and study constantly, you can overwork yourself and burn out, and then you’re not producing your best work. It’s OK to have a break because that’s when your brain consolidates everything you’ve learnt.”
Focus on what you love and what you’re good at
“You don’t have to be the best at everything. Do what you can – it’s better than doing nothing.
When I was in Year 12, I remember struggling through my Maths Methods classes, dreaming of working on my folio (and sometimes even doing folio drawings in class). It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get top marks in all subjects. But if there’s something you’re passionate about – give it your all.”
Need help? It’s fine to ask for it
“There are so many people to talk to – your friends, family, teachers, other support.
Even if you don’t feel like you need help – or if you just feel like you want to talk – speaking to somebody, like a friend going through the same thing, is so important. It will make you feel so much better.”
Have faith in your future and let it unfold
“If you’re fretting about the future, just don’t worry! Let it happen. And when it does, it will happen just the way it is supposed to. You don’t have to make every decision at once – just do what feels right in the moment, and the rest will follow.”
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