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The Two Biggest Hurdles

So you’re in high school in Brisbane? Well, you’re in the right place. This article will walk you through the two biggest hurdles you’ll have to face as a high school student in Brisbane and exactly how to overcome them with ease.

The First Hurdle: Grade 11

There are two times in their life when young adults in Brisbane tend to feel most out of their depth. The first is at the start of Grade 11 when teachers in all classes ramp up the frequency of assessment and start treating students as senior year students.

Grade 11 is your first step into the foray of adulthood. More responsibility, more frequent assessment, harder grading schema, and more late nights trying to surmount growing academic expectations.

The grading schema tends to become a little harder and a little more vague. The hand-holding that often takes place in younger years is abruptly cut off. You are not in Grade 10 anymore — now you are an adult. Now you have responsibilities. Suddenly the part of you that saw yourself as merely a child dissipates as others around you begin to see you as an almost-adult. For some, this is a very difficult time with many long nights struggling to keep up-to-date with growing academic expectations.

The Second Hurdle: Life After School

The second hurdle is the first year after school finishes. Ah, high school. It’s a time in your life where everything seems so intensely new and exciting. The future is looming and ominous, but for now, the fishbowl that is your high school is one of the most familiar places in the world.

The high school fishbowl where you know everyone and everyone knows you (usually with a few more fish).


You know everyone by name. Your friends sit next to you in every class. Your teachers are often genuinely interested in you and your story. You know the families of your friends. You say hi to your mate’s little brother in the hallway. You wave hello to your friend’s mum watching your rugby game. Weekday afternoons are filled with music rehearsals and sport practice and other extra-curricular activities — all run by and in the presence of the people who inhabit the same fishbowl as you. The high school campus is your world and the world is your oyster.

Get ready to experience a sudden and abrupt change. The second hurdle, life after school, is when you leave the fishbowl. Depending on the specific path you have chosen for yourself, no one who you interact with day-to-day will know you by name. Not yet at least. In many cases, the fishbowl you inhabited becomes exponentially bigger. The large universities contain hundreds of students, all going about their own business. Whether it is UQ or QUT or Griffith, you will likely find the switch intimidating and uncomfortable at first. If you jump straight into full time work, you will find a similar uneasy feeling. If you happen to take a gap year and travel solo around the world, you’ll be throwing yourself into the deep end of life. Most students are simply grossly underprepared for life outside of what they know.

The Solution

Okay, it may have been a little provocative to title this section: The Solution. Firstly, these hurdles are not really problems. They are difficult things that students in Brisbane must necessarily face, but despite their difficulty, by persevering through them, students learn more about themselves and grow as people. Secondly, there is no magic fix for these two hurdles that you will inevitably have to face if you are a current high school student in Brisbane. As you progress through both of these common life hurdles, you will need to exert yourself, adapt to the situation, and put your very best foot forward. However, there is a way to lessen the discomfort that both of these hurdles can bring about.

A high school tutor.

There are so many reasons why the tutor I had in high school helped me overcome these obstacles. You’d be so surprised at how much benefit having a weekly one-hour session can bring. A tutor is someone who not only completed the same subjects as you, but also suceeded at the highest level when they took those subjects for themselves. They are an expert in the field that you may or may not be currently struggling with. I saved myself so much time in those one-hour sessions. Instead of agonising over textbooks trying to pinpoint where I was going wrong in my understanding of a physics question, my tutor would explain it pretty easily in a few minutes in a way I understood.

High school tutors.


Classroom teachers are fantastic, but sometimes they are too far removed from the time when they themselves first learnt the content they’re teaching. They can sometimes teach from the unrelatable position of having known how this particular concept works for a very long time. Tutors, on the other hand, are usually current university undergraduates who have progressed through and graduated high school only a few years prior. The specific concepts are fresh in their heads as they have only recently learnt, applied and tested the content, achieving high results.

Whether you live in Camp Hill or Cannon Hill, New Farm or Newstead, Aspley or Annerley, I highly recommend checking out what high school tutoring can do for you. If you are interested in high school tuition in Brisbane, take a look at the tutors listed over at

The author is a founding member of Brisbane-based high school academic home tutoring centre, Turtle Tuition.

Check out the tutors at Brisbane’s brightest high school tutoring association, Turtle Tuition.