Grade 12 is hard. This has been a fact since the brutal secondary school system was established and somebody decided that seventeen-year-olds were perfectly qualified to make vitally important decisions that would affect the rest of their natural-born lives. This person had clearly never met a seventeen-year-old, as we are all tired, hormonal, and vaguely disillusioned with capitalism. However, I am here to help you get through this year of turmoil and despair. It is important to remember that I am in no way qualified to give advice on how to survive grade 12, but I will do so regardless. Therefore, without further ado, the Holy List of Don’ts for Tired Seniors.  

  1. Don’t make any impulsive decisions. Think of the consequences. Don’t throw your laptop out the window: I know you really want to, but you spent good money on that, and Geek Squad can’t fix devices deliberately thrown out of second-storey windows. Don’t give yourself a dramatic haircut: it may seem like the best way to “get out of your funk” of desperation and depression, but you will regret it the second you have to look in the mirror. Don’t give yourself a ‘stick-and-poke’ tattoo: it will get infected and that is not the kind of conversation you want to have with your mom.  
  2. Don’t compare your life to High School Musical. Or High School Musical 2. Not even High School Musical 3. In fact, don’t compare your life to any movies set in high school whatsoever. You will be disappointed, and that’s because high school movies are more often than not written by middle aged white men who have glorified their own adolescence to their children beyond the realm of reality. As you have undoubtedly learned by now, there is no spontaneous singing in high school. There is no Saturday detention; there is definitely no murder conspiracies. Just accept it: you have acne, that cute boy in your math class only cares about soccer, and you will never be serenaded by Zac Efron.  
  3. Don’t let your crying interfere with your success. It is tempting to curl up in a ball and spend four hours listening to Sam Smith albums on repeat, but if you’re going to cry to the point where you can fill up the fish-tank, you’re going to need to learn how to work through the tears. And I mean this metaphorically too: even when life really sucks and you would much rather dig yourself a hole and live in it like an armadillo, your math homework still needs to get done. A tearstained worksheet is better than no worksheet at all.  
  4. Don’t wear sweatpants to school, no matter how much you want to. I don’t care if wearing jeans seems akin to wearing chainmail as underwear. You’re conceding defeat to your own laziness, and it’s sad to watch. There are standards one must uphold to maintain their own self-respect, and besides, there is nothing that ups your confidence more than looking like a complete snack. Dress like the person you want to be, not the person you are, especially if that person only got three hours of sleep and is in a committed relationship with their Netflix account.  
  5. Don’t stay up till 4am just to finish your homework. This starts a cycle, where you regularly only get three hours of sleep per night and you have completely forgotten that daylight is a thing. Human beings were not meant to be nocturnal and adapting your sleep schedule similar to that of a bat is not doing yourself any favours. Rather, try to work on your time management: contrary to popular belief, homework can be done at 4:30 in the afternoon. If procrastination is your issue, delete Instagram for a few hours and tell your friends that you have better things to do than discuss the pros and cons of leaving your cat to fend for itself in the wild.  
  6. Don’t lose faith. I know, you’re suffering. You’re seriously considering dropping out of school, changing your name, and establishing an alpaca farm in rural Peru. You’ve gone as far as to actually google “flights to Peru” and compared the prices to what is currently in your bank account. But it is important to remember that Peru does not hold all your answers. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is only six months away. While the prospect of graduation may seem terrifying, it is also the thing that you’ve worked for the past twelve years towards. Your hard work has a reward – who cares if it’s just a piece of paper?  

It’s the homestretch now, kiddos. Remember these tips, and you will be absolutely fine. You got this!  


Photo credit to The Huffington Post