Senior Year Around The World: Australia

< I can't believe it, we're already onto the 7th post in our Senior Year Around The World series! >

Hey everyone! I'm Charmie, a sixteen year old living in Sydney, Australia. I'm currently in my final year of high school and this is a quick rundown of what Year 12 is like in the land down under! 

Well, close to everyone starts school in Kindergarten, around the age of five. Then seven years later, in Year Six, kids graduate and move on to high school; that is, Year Seven to Year Twelve. Uniforms are compulsory in every school and occasionally there are mufti days where students are allowed to wear whatever they want. Most girls tend to use this opportunity to dress in the skimpiest clothes they can find, at least, in my experience this has been the (unfortunate) case. 

High school is often called 'the best time of your life' and most of the time it is. I think the education system in Australia is fair, homework doesn't take over your life but it's there in moderate amounts.

A walk through the final year of a typical Year 12 student:

First there's the Swimming Carnival, the first chance for the year twelves to establish themselves as the oldest, meanest and best group in the school. Weeks before big day the cohort must plan their theme; previous themes have included military, hippies. Then at the end of the Swimming carnival, the year twelves scramble across the stands, wielding water guns and soaking any students who dare stand in the way. Students in younger years try to hide their belongings and run to safety. Finally, this year I won't be the one running!

One of the biggest perks of being in Year 12 is a having a common room. It's a big room with sofas and a kitchen and it means hot lunches and grilled cheese sandwiches at any time.

There is also a muck-up week, everyday is a different theme; what I want to be when I grow up, etc and the Year 12's dress up accordingly. The muck-up day is the best because year 12's are allowed (just for one day) to wreck havoc on the school; decorating lockers with toilet paper, pulling pranks on teachers and students alike and much worse.

After all the fun, there are the final exams commencing in October, called the Higher School Certificate (HSC) which you get a ranking (ATAR) for, allowing you to get into university. My current subjects include English Extension 2 (English is compulsory but maths isn't), Maths Extension 1, Chemistry, Legal Studies and Studies of Religion. I want to study medicine although I'm not sure how possible that will be.

After graduating high school forever and finishing the HSC, many students in Australia go on 'Schoolies' which are trips planned with friends to travel elsewhere and party/relax in that location, usually without adults. Popular locations include the Gold Coast and Bali although I hope to travel to Europe with my family instead.

I could go into a lot more detail about the final year of high school in Australia but whenever I try to type it, it sounds really boring even though I swear it isn't. Although senior year is different in every country, I think the same mixed emotions come along with it wherever you are; the nostalgia and the joy of finishing one part of your life.

Thanks again to Charmie for writing this post! For more articles, visit her blog, Why Not Sherlock :)


  1. I'm only a freshman, but I live in the United States so all your Australian terms sound really funny to me. :) It'll be a while before I'm a senior, but I've heard it's a great year pretty much everywhere.

  2. Oh my gosh, Australian senior year sounds like such a party! The common room is awesome! I wish we had something like that in the US. Are you able to hang out in the common room between classes or at lunch? How does that work?

    1. The common room can be used whenever we don't have classes. We can use it at lunch or free periods. It's like the senior's special place

  3. Hi Charmie, I read your article. It was wonderful. I want to after completing school how can I admitted HSC myself? Give me a suggestion about it if you can. Thanks for the nice post.
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  4. Not every school has compulsory uniforms. I'm at a senior college (Year 11 & 12) and uniform is completely optional for us and the only optional uniforms are shirts or hoodies. Overall it is a good description though.

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