All throughout my high school life I have believed a number of myths about being a senior. Little Year 7 Kim was once so daunted by them, with their jerseys and folders that looked heavier than me, constantly in some sort of rush and state of stress I believed.

However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learnt that to an extent that these myths are simply just that, myths.

It’s true; some of these myths do hold a level of truth. Senior schooling isn’t easy, but it’s not the hardest endeavour that can be encountered.

Myth #1

Senior School = No Social Life

It is constantly emphasised that these two years belong to school, with little to no time for anything else. Though that is far from the truth, you can still go out with your friends, attend 18ths, concerts and everything else a teenager is supposed to do. However, I’ve learnt that I’ve had to limit where I go and what I do. It’s all about the balance, between life and school.

A perfect example is say if I have a event on a Saturday night, I will spend my Friday afternoon at the library staying a bit extra longer to make sure I do all that I need to do over the weekend that afternoon. Though if I had an assessment I would more than likely stay home for the majority of the weekend.

I have learnt how to say no, and it is more than okay to say no sometimes.

So this myth is totally false, you still have a life outside of school but you do need to find a balance between both, which really is not as hard as some might think.

Myth #2

You Can’t Have a Job During Senior School

Now this myth I really do know is not true, I work two jobs at the moment and I’d like to say I’m still on top of it all and that I’m not drastically behind or overstressed. Again this ties in with the uncovering of the first myth, the balance is key.

If I’m working of an afternoon I push a little further during my study periods or maybe go into the library during lunch to get my homework done. I don’t work crazy hours and I don’t believe any student should, on top of finishing school there are a number of things that should be concerning students.

One of my concerns is Schoolies and life AFTER school, so saving money throughout this year is very important to me and I know a majority of other students. Nevertheless I don’t let it take priority, so again it’s a completely false myth, you CAN have a part time job during senior school and still succeed.

It’s all about balance; you could say that senior school is just one big balancing act.

Myth #3

You Need to Study 6+ Hours a Day to Get a Good ATAR

This myth could not be further from the truth, I feel like it is so heavily embedded in some people that they simply do not believe they can achieve a high ATAR without having to give up every other aspect of life and devoting their entire mind, body and soul to school.

As it has been emphasised a number of times, it is all about studying smart not hard. I know students who studied for a solid couple of hours a day, who utilised their class time and used a study method they enjoyed who came away with a high ATAR, which goes to show that you don’t need to devote strenuous hours to studying.

I believe if you focus 110% in class, use your study periods to the fullest extent and maximise the few hours you do in the afternoon you are more than capable of getting a high ATAR.

Studying smarter, not harder or longer will benefit the most, definitely not studying for countless hours straight everyday.

Myth #4

The Subject Selection Myth

At the end of Year 10 I was hit with a mass amount of different information regarding subjects. I was having friends, older students and even teacher telling me which ones to pick and what not to pick, all based on scaling. Looking back I’m happy I disregarded what they said and picked the ones that I enjoy, unlike some peers who heavily regret some of the subject choices they made.

I heard so many statements like“ Don’t pick ____ it doesn’t scale well! “ and“ It’s better to pick ___ over ____ because it just scales so much better” and I’m so happy I didn’t listen and pick a different subject based on what they said.

Subject scaling does not matter at all and it should never impact your selection choices, I believe if you enjoy what you’re studying you will naturally do a lot more better in it. Pick based on what you want to do, not your friends or teachers.

So there you have, my version of uncovering common myths about senior schooling. It’s evident that most of these myths are simply myths, so they should in no way influence how you think or feel about senior school. It really isn’t as bad as everyone might think it is, it is nowhere near as bad as I thought it was when I was younger.

Good Luck!

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Kimberly McKenzie is a stressed-out Year 12 student at St Josephs Regional College in Port Macquarie. She studies Modern History, Legal Studies, Business Studies, Geography, Advanced English and Studies of Religion. She aspires to leave her small country town and move to Sydney when she’s finished her HSC, hopefully studying something to do with business. When she’s not working one of her two jobs, sleeping or studying, you can find Kimberly at her local dog beach with her Staffy x Beagle dog or binge watching That 70’s Show for the 5th time on Netflix!