The time in between finishing year 11 and beginning year 12 can be one of the most enjoyable times in your teenage years.

It’s a time to leave the stresses of year 11 behind and avoid the anxieties about the year ahead!

While your teachers spent the year nagging you about being prepared for starting year 12 next year and how every piece of work counts towards your final ATAR score, I think you deserve to enjoy some of your Summer holidays with a bit of fun!

School holiday tips


– Be social!

If you’re anything like I was in year 12 (a hermit and book nerd) I recommend spending as much time doing social things as possible during your Summer break preceding year 12.

As you’ve no doubt heard a thousand times – if you want to achieve great results in year 12, you’ve got to work hard. So, taking the time to relax and unwind during your holidays in order to be fresh and ready to dive in head first in year 12 is definitely necessary.

Not only can year 12 be draining, but it can also take a toll on your social life. Although I managed to keep a good balance of social and study because most of my friends were in a similar situation, some don’t succeed so easily.

Taking the Summer period to see as many friends as possible and catch up on news with your mates is 100% needed not only to maintain friendships, but to keep your sanity!

I know without my friends and family to break up extended periods of study I probably would’ve pulled all of my hair out in year 12.

– Get outdoors!

Considering the holiday period between school years is peak Summer time in Australia, I’d advise enjoying the summer weather for as long as you possibly can, as Year 12 can have you hunched over tests and notes indoors!

Get outdoors and enjoy those Aussie beach vibes. Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap!

In my opinion, the months of freedom over Summer would be wasted if it didn’t involve a short trip, holiday or camping adventure!

Believe me, once you start full-time work down the track, you’ll reflect on those lazy school holidays and wish you took the opportunity to spend the time wisely. I know I do!

So, round up a couple of mates and plan a fun trip somewhere new where you can enjoy your Summer holidays and make memories with friends!

Below, I’ve listed a few places across Australian states that are popular destinations to visit (you’re welcome), and equally affordable for young students if you choose to camp or find cheap accommodation.


  • Wilsons Promontory
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Murray River
  • Grampians National Park
  • Phillip Island

I would highly recommend checking out these places, as they are cost effective destinations for young Aussies looking to relax before returning to school and beginning the year 12 grind!
Find out more about these iconic Victorian destinations, here.


  • Fraser Island
  • Camping! Queensland has some more expensive tourist destinations to visit, such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays, so camping is a more affordable option for students. The places listed here, are ideal destinations for scenic and enjoyable Queensland camping trips.

South Australia

  • Yorke Peninsula
  • Eyre Peninsula
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Port Lincoln

Western Australia

  • Rottnest Island
  • Cable Beach, Broome
  • Margaret River
  • Ningaloo Reef Marine Park


  • Cockle Creek
  • Mt William National Park
  • Freycinet National Park

New South Wales

  • Blue Mountains
  • Byron Bay
  • Coffs Harbour

Those were just a couple of ideas you could explore as a high school student in your summer holidays before starting year 12!

Your time as a student won’t last forever and taking the opportunity to travel as a student is often the best time for it.

While I absolutely encourage taking some time off from the pressures of senior school during your Summer break, I also would recommend avoiding being hit full force by the demands of year 12 upon your return to school in February.

I know what you’re thinking – that you’re a last-minute kind of person and you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it.

However, I’m telling you from experience, your teachers won’t be easing you into the year, they will give you a brief warning, then pile your workload so high you won’t be able to see over it.

I have a couple of suggestions you might want to take note of as the biggest year of high school creeps up on you.

Start preparing for year 12 now


I know this will be met with a groan and an eye roll, but I’m going to mention it anyway.

It could be worthwhile considering starting to explore your reading material for the year ahead.

Give me a chance to explain.

Particularly in your English class, you will have a lot, and I mean a LOT, of reading material for the year ahead. I’m not saying you have to analyse it and write notes, I’m merely suggesting that familiarising yourself with the context and ideas in your study areas can help you get a head start later down the track and afford you more time to really study the concepts closer to exam time.

The second tip I have is a simple, yet highly effective one that was my one and only absolute necessity in year 12 and beyond, to attack academics.

I bought a diary.

It might sound silly, but having all of my exams, course work and assessments clearly marked in my diary and a to-do list that I could tick off on a daily basis helped keep my head on my shoulders.

I’m the kind of person who can get overwhelmed easily and let academic pressures really get to me. So, by being organised and being able to visually take my tasks one step at a time, I made year 12 more manageable.

I hope that didn’t scare you off starting year 12 next year, because that definitely wasn’t my intention! In reality, it really isn’t that bad, it just takes some getting used to and some careful strategies to implement to create a balanced year. It also takes a less stressed-out human than the likes of me to understand that an undesirable mark isn’t the end of the world and that you can always improve your grades as you progress though the year.

The most important idea I want to get across here, is that high school students should absolutely take the time in between years 11 and 12 to embrace freedom and youth, taking full advantage of months of holidays to have some much-deserved fun!

Thousands of high school students that have been in a similar position to you right now, explored an alternative pathway after completing their year 12 studies by embracing a future at a leading US college. You could join them!

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