Five changes your teen will experience after Year 12

That exciting ‘leaving the nest’ moment is finally here. Here's what you can expect.

Starting tertiary studies after Year 12 can be daunting for your teen. There is a whole new set of acronyms to get their head around, a lot of distractions accompanying their newfound independence and new ways of learning. We’ve summed up the most important changes to keep in mind, so your teenager has a head start into the next chapter of their life.

Lecturer stands in front of class in lecture room

1. Independence

The first major difference to school and university is that students are required to independently learn. There won’t be calls to parents for not attending lectures or chasing homework and assignments. Staying on top of subject assessments will be completely up to students to manage, and with distractions of university life, part-time jobs, and social activities, time management becomes increasingly important.

RMIT offers a range of study support services for students that might be finding this transition challenging, including personalised assessment help, peer mentoring and wellbeing support.

2. Contact hours

Whilst the time spent in class may vary from course to course, the average student spends around 12 – 20 hours a week at uni or TAFE. This could mean that students are there for two or three days of the week, which can feel like a blessing compared to the structured timetables of most secondary schools. Classes generally start closer to March, and finish in November or early December. 

Based on current information, most Semester 1 2021 courses at RMIT are expected to have a mix of face-to-face and online learning activities. Lectures and seminars will be delivered online only. Facilitated learning, such as workshops and practicals, will be delivered face-to-face on campus, where possible. 

RMIT students.

Support for students

RMIT supports students with accommodation, financial advice, mental health support, and study and time management advice. 

3. Travel

University is a great time to take advantage of all the global study opportunities. RMIT offers dozens of different exchanges, internships and study tour programs across Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and North and South America.

Through RMIT, your teen could be trekking through Vietnam’s rice fields on an exchange, taking a fashion intensive class at LIM College in New York, or immersing themselves in the beauty of Mexico to learn Spanish. Study tours and exchanges all count towards their study credit, and there’s a lot of loans and scholarships available. 

For Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) student Victoria Wan, putting classroom theory into action overseas was the best way to learn.

"I participated in two accredited international projects. One was around a small island in Fiji, assessing the marine biodiversity in a locally managed marine area, in contrast to one of no protection.  

“I also ventured to Costa Rica to assist with the ongoing long-term monitoring of sea turtles and the subsequent collection of developmental data. 

“These opportunities allowed me to experience some of the challenges faced in field research, while adapting to a foreign work environment." 

4. Clubs and societies

Sure, high schools have sports teams and a few clubs in high school, but your teenager hasn’t seen anything until they’re at university or TAFE. From the Snow Sports club and RMIT Movie Club, to the Funkadelics dance club and French club, RMIT supports 50+ clubs and societies for your teen to join and meet a bunch of like-minded people.

“The highlight of my learning experience at RMIT was undoubtedly the connections I made with other students through clubs, and the opportunity to network with various industry professionals at events held by student associations,” says Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) student Ivy Kioko.

5. Hundreds of new faces

Chances are that your teenager won’t be going to the same institution as most people from their secondary school. They now have the opportunity of meeting hundreds of new people from completely different backgrounds, who don't know anyone either. Beyond the ability to network for their future career, making friends through classes and student clubs can make their tertiary experience so much more than educational.

“RMIT provides a lot of opportunities for you to create new friends and have a good time beyond the classroom,” says Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (Applied) student Michael Palermo.  

“Going for a drink or grabbing something to eat at Melbourne’s best bars, restaurants and cafés before, between or after classes is a highlight.”

Looking for more information?

There's so much to learn about your teen starting their first year of uni or VE.

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer