Finishing school

Amy Ma, about to graduate from high school, discusses the excitement, fear and apprehension that she's feeling about the end of school.

This can help if:

  • you’re about to finish school

  • you’re nervous about what happens after graduation

  • you know someone who’s about to finish school.

Girl student walking toward camera

School’s nearly out

It’s funny how we all start from the same beginnings but end up in completely different places in life.

My high school years are coming to an end. Next week, I’ll have my last few lessons, clear out my locker for the last time, say my final goodbyes to classmates and teachers, and eventually graduate with all my peers. I know there are a lot of you going through the same thing, and hey, welcome aboard this scary ride to a destination unknown. Some people might think that graduating from high school is just a tiny chapter in the big book called ‘Life’, and that there are more important events to come – but to me, it’s a pretty huge milestone.

Mixed emotions

When I think about graduating from high school, I get a knot in the pit of my stomach. It’s difficult to describe: a jumble of fear, pangs of regret, and sprinkles of nervousness, with a side of excitement and expectation. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, and I suppose that’s what makes it both exciting and frightening. Am I moving on to university? Should I just start a job and get work experience? How will I do in my HSC? The fear comes because we’re afraid we might not find answers to these questions – or, even worse, we find them but don’t like them. The only thing we can control is our decision to work to the best of our ability while trying to look after our health during this gruelling and stressful time. Just give everything your best effort and it will all work out in the end when your hard work pays off.

Saying goodbye to teachers

The next-hardest thing about graduating from high school is parting with the teachers you’ve grown close to over the years. There are teachers who put so much effort into their classes, inspiring and empowering their students to learn and to succeed. These are the teachers who are the hardest to say goodbye to. But, they were preparing for you to leave all along. They want you to go out into the world armed with as much information as possible so that you’re able to tackle all the big issues. It’s hard to repay a person who has made such an impact on your life, but a small gift or your thoughts and thanks written in the form of a letter or a card will be appreciated and helps make the parting of ways a little easier.

Farewelling my friends

The most difficult part for me, by far, is saying farewell to my classmates. My six years in high school were spent building close and memorable connections with friends. Seeing everyone moving on to fulfil their respective dreams and ambitions certainly makes me wonder if we’ll ever cross paths again. It’s funny how we all start from the same beginnings but end up in completely different places in life. It makes me regret not doing more to get to know more people at my school. Perhaps my life could have changed somehow just by having known them? The lesson here is to meet and talk with as many people as you can while you still have the opportunity. Luckily for our generation, there are social networking sites like Facebook that make it easy to maintain some sort of contact after graduating from high school, although nothing really beats having a friend in person.

On to the next bit!

So, this is it – the very last days of the life we’ve grown so comfortable with. Bidding farewell to high school allows us to keep all the great memories while still moving forward in our lives, ready to change the world as adults rather than holding on to the past like children.

What can I do now?

  • Read up on other ways to get into uni.

  • Find out about meeting new people.