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Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 3, No. 6 - November/December 2011

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After the HSC Exams

By Maria Charlton

So your teenagers have finished school, you have supported and encouraged them through the stressful HSC exams and you share their anxious anticipation for the future.

This can be an extremely unsettling time as you await their HSC results and pull out all stops to occupy their time during the long holiday break prior to starting tertiary education or work.

Leaving school to move on to new things can be an exciting time, however it can also mean your teenagers are in for huge life changes. These may include:

  • Starting work
  • University
  • TAFE
  • Taking a gap year
  • Spending less time with school friends

In organising your teenagers after the HSC Exams it is vital to consider the importance of family, friends and leisure to your teenagers.

Importance & Time Spent on Family Relationships & Friendships

  • On average, young people spend 40 hours a week with their family & the majority stated they have close relationships with family
  • Gender, age, location & cultural background affect family relationships
  • Young people find friends an important source of support.
    About 94% of young people report having friends they can confide in
  • Young people spend an average of 20 hours per week with their friends

Leisure Activities & How Much Time Young People Spend in These Activities

  • Leisure time accounts for about 24% of 15 - 19 year olds & 21% of 20 - 24 year olds time
  • As young people get involved in work, education & starting new families, time spent on leisure activities decreases
  • Over two-thirds of young people engage in some form of physical activity
  • Less than half engage in moderate to vigorous exercise
Leisure Activities Young People 15-24 Years Average Hours
Per Week
Per Cent of Young People Engaging in the Activity
TV and other passive leisure 17.8               85.0            
Other/Unspecified leisure 4.9               58.0            
Sport and outdoor activities 3.1               26.0            
Computer games 1.5               10.0            
Socialising 1.7               13.0            
Reading 1.2               16.0            
Drinking alcohol 1.2               8.0            
Entertainments/sports events 1.1               7.0            
Arts, crafts and hobbies 0.9               8.0            
Games 0.3               3.0            

Source: ABS Time Use Survey 2006

After HSC Exams Tips

  • Give them time to adjust - any change takes a while to adjust to, especially a big one like leaving school.
  • Treat them - their favourite leisure activities such as video games, television, tickets to sports games, gym memberships, bike hikes, days at the beach, meeting up with their friends.
  • Talk to them at the end of the day - prepare a favourite meal, takeout or a picnic where the family can meet & talk about their day in an informal way.
  • Reward their effort in the HSC - horse-riding, balloon flight, Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb or whatever else may interest them.
  • Encourage them to keep in touch with school friends - leaving school can be a time when their group of friends changes as friends go on holidays, start a job, take a gap year or take a new direction.
  • Keep them busy - leaving school means they may be confronted with the boredom of the long summer break before starting work or uni, TAFE - an ideal time to take a family holiday, enlist them in a hobby or leisure activity or volunteer work.

More Information


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