My Last Year of High School

Today, we are featuring a guest blog post from our Ugly Duckling friend Allanah.  Allanah has been with our community since the beginning, sharing a video in our Duck Yard!


My name is Allanah, and I am about to start my final year of high school.  This being my final year, I will have my final exams, my final lessons.  While I may be worrying abou Allanah's Post Pic 1t the stressful things that I have to do this year, I do have the good things to look forward too; I get my formal and I will finally graduate. I will be able to say, “I did it, I finished high school!”

For some, being in your final year of high school is a very difficult place to be.  I am included in this group.  By the end of this year, I am expected to know what I want to do with my life.  But while I may have some idea, I am not 100% sure.

One thing I figured out recently is that I want to learn everything; I have always enjoyed learning and believe I always will.  In our society, this is a problem.  I am never going to be able to know everything so I have to narrow down what I want to learn the most.  What I want to learn about may not necessarily be a plausible option for me to study at university. I have always wanted to be a professional writer but I know that I would still be able to work on my writing in my spare time if I was to study something that would give me the possibility of going straight into the workforce after I finish university.

Allanah's Post Pic 2Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who has this problem because most of my friends seem to know what they want to do.  I know that if I start a degree or decide on something, I can always change if I don’t like it, but I don’t like not finishing things because I feel like I’ve failed myself.  I have been told a few times “it’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do because your only young you’ll figure it out” but I just feel that I should know now.  It seems that a lot of people put pressure on people my age to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives and have it totally planned out before they are even an adult.

Maybe it’s just me and maybe it’s not but I have a feeling this year is going to contain a lot of stress, confusion and tears. Anyone else having this issue or have some solutions or helpful tips for people in this position, feel free to leave a message in the comments; I’m sure anything will be helpful.


Thank you so much for being so open with us, Allanah!  Fellow Ugly Ducklings, remember to leave comments and encouragements for Allanah below!

swan out

– Erin


10 thoughts on “My Last Year of High School

  1. Don’t over worry about school, the more you worry the less you have time to enjoy your last year of high school. Please don’t think you have to have everything figured out right now. College is the time to decide what you want in life, the future is scary but it also can be amazing. Enjoy your year and enjoy the feeling of being young and carefree. The work never ends but college does :) have a great day!

  2. Hey Allanah
    I’m starting my last year of high school tomorrow too which is scary and disconcerting… :P
    In terms of deciding what you want to do at uni, it sounds like you have loads of options! My advice is, pick something you enjoy and are passionate about, don’t stress about deciding on the thing you are most passionate about, you’ll fit all your passions somewhere in your life.
    I’m also pretty sure you can swap degrees in Australia (I live there too), so if you change your mind in uni it’s not like you’re dropping out of one course, you’re just changing into another.
    We had a careers day at school once, and the guest speaker told us that we HAD to have our career plans mapped out or we were never going to get anywhere in life. Which was a bit worrying as none of us had heard of a career plan. But we did sessions with other people in careers we were interested in, and one of them told us that we SHOULDN’T know what we were going to do exactly yet. Because we’re going to change so much in the next few years anyway. So my point is that sometimes adults are wrong, we don’t need to know where we want to go yet.
    My other general advice is be optimistic, look at the good side of things not the bad, that way life seems a lot better.
    Good luck next year and have fun!

    • Yes you can always change degrees, you’ll just have to pay for the subjects you were originally doing as well if you don’t change by census date. But hey, heaps of people change their mind after census date. It’s not a waste of money because they’re discovering themselves. Besides with hex debt you don’t have to worry about costs they make it very manageable to pay your fees off and you don’t have to pay a cent until you have a certain income. Sorry I’m such a rambler lol. Good luck to both if you this year!! Xx

  3. If you have lots of passions, (like me.. *sigh* I love everything!!) you’ll have to pick one and dig into it… if one passion isn’t something you find you want to make into a career, then try the next one. One thing that I preferred to help me ‘pick one’ and go with it, is talking to those who I trust and know me really well; also, asking a couple of friends you know you more recently and compare their perspectives of you. Interesting! You’re discovering who you are!

    ‘Digging into it’ is talking to people who are in the field and hearing their story, researching a job that you might like and what certificates or degrees or experience it takes to get there, and especially volunteering in places where you may like to go one day… You will learn a lot about the ‘career aspect of life’ by just exploring in this way!

    You are in a crucial time of life and you know it… do enjoy the journey! (BTW, the further along the journey you are, you realize that this journey isn’t ever done, and that’s really good news!) Whatever you do will be your stepping stone to something else :) Have fun with it and build on it! Being an adult in the career world may be an extension of who you are. :) School is already a foundation that you are stepping on to go somewhere. Life is an adventure! Have fun with it.

    Right now, do explore careers, and enjoy your school/work as you go. <3

    Thanks for writing!

  4. Hi Allanah,

    You really shouldn’t worry about not knowing what you want to do, and you do have time to figure it out. And if you really want to be a writer, for goodness sake, write. Write, write, write, write, write. You could a literature/english degree, because it’s very good for writers to read lots and it’s not an unemployable choice. But, really, from what I’ve heard from professional writers is that what makes them writers is that they HAVE to write. It’s not something they feel comfortable having as a spare time activity (even though that may be the only option to pay the bills for a bit).

    To go back to not knowing, does it make you feel better if I tell you that I started uni training for one career and am now on my 5th different choice? And none of them feel like failures. Part of growing up is learning who you are and sometimes that means you need to change direction because where you were headed will no longer take you to who you want to be. It’s totally okay.

    And the best thing about uni? In what other context do you get to spend 3-4 years studying something you are passionate about? Let that guide you. Finding a subject you are passionate about is much more likely to lead you to a career you love than just a degree for the sake of a career (which is no longer a sure thing anyway). There was a great article in the Atlantic on this recently ( ), it may not apply to you, but I think this line is important enough to apply to anyone at this point in life:
    ‘College should be “sold” to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening. All students should learn that privilege is connected to the pursuit of passions. People are privileged to follow their hearts in life, to spend their time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving. Access to higher education means that your values and interests can govern your choices.’

    Okay, that was a bit of a waffle, but I hope it helps!


  5. Don’t worry about not knowing, you have heaps of time and opportunities to figure it out. Changing your mind is not failing yourself, it’s growing as a person by learning about yourself and what you do and don’t enjoy! I’m about to start university and I’ve already chosen my subjects, yet I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life! As for your final year, I’ll tell you the story of my experience and how I think you can prevent a similar thing happening to you. I’ll try to keep it from sounding too gloomy. By the way I live in Australia so I don’t know how different the schooling system may be if you live somewhere else. Here goes. I’m pretty sure my final year was the worst year of my life. I constantly experienced a wide array of extreme negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and depression. I’d had these problems in the background for quite a while and the workload of my final year sent me into a downward spiral and I fell into a very dark and frightening place. You see, I’ve always been a perfectionist and my intense fear that I might not be able to hand in a great assignment or do well on my exam led to a LOT of procrastination which of course greatly affected my ability to complete assignments by the due date. l also wasn’t being honest with myself as to the extent of my situation because I didn’t know who or how to ask for help, or even what I needed help with, so l convinced myself that l didn’t need it. Eventually I got professional help but it was too late to make any real difference to my overall results. l ended up just making it into the course that I wanted anyway though. So my advice to you and anyone else in your position is to be honest with yourself as to how you’re coping and seek help if you think you might need it. Also if you’re a perfectionist like me, when doing assignments etc. and you feel the urge to correct small things like wording as you go, make yourself ignore it and go back to it when your work is completed because it’s much easier to fix it then. Plus, it’s better to hand in a complete draft with crappy wording and sentence structure than an incomplete draft as you’ll get more valuable feedback, and you often won’t have time to make the wording perfect before draft date (or in my case, before due date because I submitted to these urges which wasted HEAPS of time). l really hope I’ve helped you and that you can take something from my experience. Best of luck! :) xx

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