Hi, I’m Kirstie and I have just finished my Psychology (Honours) degree at Flinders!
This is a very exciting time for those of you who are entering your final years of high school. Whether you are going into Year 10, 11 or 12, I’m sure many of you are already thinking ahead and considering what you’re going to do when you finish school, and how you can achieve your goals. Some of you (as I did) might find yourself feeling a bit stressed! So, I am going to give you some advice that I wish I had known before entering my final years of schooling.
There are three main things to keep in mind over the next few years. These include taking care of yourself, developing good study habits and considering life beyond school.
This might sound basic, but it’s the most important step! You have to make sure you take care of yourself. This includes, eating well, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Eating the right foods is critical to your mental functioning, as it provides you with energy, enhances concentration, improves focus and gives you brain power! Exercise gives you instant energy, relieves stress and tension, releases “feel good” endorphins, and is linked to a better night’s sleep. Feeling stressed and unmotivated? Try going for a walk or playing your favourite sport.
It is also essential that you have life balance. Make time for yourself, keep up your hobbies and spend time with family and friends. Sounds time consuming? Create an additional timetable for yourself that includes everything in your life! You will feel much more motivated and ready to go.
Now, consider your study habits. First, you need to make sure you have a suitable study space. This should be away from distractions, such as the TV. Make sure your study space is comfortable and clear and that you’re organised and have everything on hand, including that timetable!
Something I wish I had looked into earlier during High School was considering what kind of learner I am. There are different styles of learning: auditory, visual or kinaesthetic. Once you have identified what kind of learner you are, you can adopt specific study techniques to match. I have listed some different ideas below.
- Auditory learners: memory mnemonics, audio books, YouTube videos.
- Visual learners: use of colour, YouTube videos, mind maps.
- Kinaesthetic learners: making models, annotating text, using role-plays.
By practicing some of these learning strategies and taking proper care of yourself, hopefully you can feel more confident to achieve your goals through your final years of school. In terms of thinking about life beyond school, I wish I had known not to put too much pressure on myself. There are many pathways available to gain entry into the course of your dreams. Rather than doing what I did and spending my time panicking (not recommended!), use that valuable time to collect information. Attend the Flinders University Open Days and career expos, seek inspiration from others (Ted Talks can be great for this!) and contact Flinders University to ask any questions you may have. The article above by Prospective Student Advisor, Phil, is a good start too! Keep an open mind and at the end of the day be happy that you are doing your best to achieve your goals.