Today I was reminded of how much I miss working with Year 12 students especially in their last year with all the challenges and great expectations. I came across one of my students that I taught in Year 8, she is now in Year 12. We were in the doctor’s waiting room (me a flu shot). She was so trying not to have eye contact with me and I respected that however; I have seen the look of fear, dread, trepidation, overwhelm and “I’m so totally over this” before. I didn’t want to embarrass her but I did want to acknowledge her. I moved towards her as I was returning to my seat and bent down to her and addressed her by her name, smiled and asked how she was going in Year 12. She looked down and said exactly what I thought “I hate it, it sucks and I’m so over it”. I looked deep into her eyes and simply asked: “do you know what you want to do next year?” A resounding “NO” – short and desperate. Again, looking deeply into her eyes I said to her “try with all that you are not to compare yourself with anyone else AND find NOW what you want to do”.

We parted with a smile – she’s not a hugger just a really lovely, young lady struggling with direction. What is the point of all “this” if you don’t know where you are going? How lonely to be so lost with so many demands and expectations. Herein lies the main issue with many Year 12 students consequently giving fertile ground to many well-being issues that never need to be so prematurely within these young lives.

It does take a village to raise our children – parents, family, friends, community, sporting clubs and of course schools! This real connection of humanness and values is the platform for launching our young adults into where they can see themselves – after school. Yep, we all can help them, Coach them; to find their “true north” at least until their compass heading has a change of direction. Just a thought.