Stepping Up for Year 12

Year 12 student Tully Mauritzen reports on the Step Up Program, a two-day workshop preparing students for their final year. 

We had only completed six school days of our final year but the pressure had already started to build. Some, confronted by their high expectations for the year; others, desperately trying to cover the fact they didn't complete their holiday work. And just as we were all feeling the post-holiday slump, our teachers comforted us with the ‘Step Up’ Program on 8-9 February.

We all met up at St Kilda Town Hall to begin what many expected to be an arduous two days of relentless information jammed into our brains. The reality was far from it.

Beginning with some much-needed advice on relaxation by Kinch, we were stepped through the wonders of our brain, and how to keep it active and under our control during the highs and lows of the year. Perhaps it was our shared intimidation of Year 12, because for once in our lives, “eat healthy and do exercise” was a pretty well-received message!

Next up, they brought in the role models. Mahera Masarrat, a graduate of 2015, talked us through her motivation for the ATAR results, and some little tips and tricks for those taking on the sciences. Taylor Dale, our preceding School Captain, amazed us all with just how efficiently she used her time during her final year. Finally, 2012 graduate Liam Thomas inspired the traveller within us all on recounting his Gap Year stories.

Bringing in the big guns, we were introduced to the experts from Elevate, who specialise in study tips. Although some advice was conveyed through eliciting images of Joe secretly dancing to Taylor Swift in his bedroom, they aimed to position us in a better place when practicing studying methods. Visiting over the two days, the lecturers - removing any dull connotations the word may have - were incredible to listen to, leaving us with a comprehensive guide for getting the best out of our VCE.

After many more activities, the two days came to an end, cementing in our minds tips, tricks and treasures that will help us find our way to the end of our road at Elwood. And, although we’re bound to hear quotes or an abundance of readings of “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr Seuss - a  rite of passage for all seniors and graduates - there is something about Mrs McDonald’s flamboyant interpretation that I know will stick in my mind for quite some time.

Unto the breach we go, sealing our valedictory letters with an alarming sense of finality, let us take the year in our stride and heed the advice of those before us.

A big thank you to all the teachers who organised and participated in the experience.

Photo by Ana Burenkova.