Year 12s are currently doing their HSC, their last exams that mark the end of 13 years of school, I remember it well. Then there’s the annual ‘schoolies’ week, the drink-fest that goes on for days. It doesn’t have to be like that, when I was in year 12 it didn’t appeal to me AT ALL, so I didn’t go. Shock horror.. .not really. There’s so much else to do, I’d got a taste of a whole wide world out there through my love of studying a language that I was keen to jump right into it.
Learning a Language
If your child shows any interest in learning a language it is an absolutely brilliant experience, not only fun and mind expanding but provides plenty of alternate things to do for teenagers. You can send them on a student exchange, language intensives, swap homes or stay with ‘pen pals’ or family friends from the target language. Italy, Japan, France. It opens up a completely new world for kids that stays with them for life. I have taught teenage boys a language and believe me, plenty of boys love it.
My husband and I both lament that we didn’t think of this post-HSC. We did a season at age 30, but the ideal time would have been post-school to about 25, we both agree, when we don’t have kids to pay for and could spend all our time and money on the snow or in a warm ski hut sipping hot chocolate. Ski or board to your hearts content! It’s such an all ages sport, kids hear life stories from people at all walks of life. There’s ski instructor courses or powder courses for solo skiers or boarders, it’s an excellent way to travel, earn money and meet great people.
Another idea we’ve got our eye on for our kids, lots of islands and resorts need big strong strapping Aussie guys familiar with surf, surf conditions and have their resuscitation qualifications. Hang out on beaches in your downtime, drinking beers on the beach with beautiful girls, what’s not to love.
This is an absolute confidence booster for young people and opens their eyes up super wide to the possibilities out there. They can start with some assisted travelling (contiki or similar) and get their foot into staying into youth hostels. It’s great networking meeting like-minded people or just seeing how other people live. It sure makes people appreciate home.
It won’t guarantee your kids won’t get into trouble but instead of accepting the boring old drinking route is the only way to segue from teenaged to adulthood it’s worth thinking outside the square. To this day I have NEVER regretted missing schoolies, and even though it may FEEL like the entire world is going to schoolies without you…. even for a day…once the decision is made life moves on pretty quickly and the next chapter is where your feet will be firmly planted and you will never look back.
I have to say, occasionally at my age, when something comes up about schoolies and I tell people I skipped it I am amazed at how many people at other schools skipped it too. They went on to do drama courses to become actors, did internships, volunteers work and couldn’t stomach the idea of getting smashed in a pig pen of booze either and they are terrific, amazing, successful people whom I admire.
Go against the flow, find your true calling.