I have a new diary. It smells great, has a fabric cover and is filled with drawings of flowers. Having a nice planner makes year twelve look a little less daunting, but only a little.

I know that your ATAR isn’t your life and that grades don't define you, but boy it sure does not feel like that. I understand its a hard balance for our parents, guardians and teachers to strike, motivating us to achieve our best whilst also not applying too much pressure. But it doesn't change the fact that I am crazy afraid.

I want to do well and I think that's what is making me even more scared. I believe that wanting something, really wanting something, is one of the most terrifying things a person can do. Because not getting the things you wanted and worked hard towards, is akin to jumping out of an aeroplane with an anvil attached. So I have that to look forward to.

Apart from the crippling fear of failure I am looking forward to year 12. I am looking forward to having my last name on my jumper. I never did any sports growing up so I don’t know how it feels to have your surname stamped on you. I reckon I’ll wear it and suddenly be super confident. Saying things like “Hello world! My first name is Ella, want to know my last name? Ha! Check the jumper pal!” You know? The kind of confidence that is reserved for the kids in primary school who were really good at running.

Another thing I’m looking forward to is the feeling of happy-sad. The feeling of a deep sadness covered with this overwhelming sense of joy. It’s like the two emotions are fighting each other, shouting over each other so your stomach fizzes, your eyes well up and you don’t know if you’re going to burst into tears or break out a grin. This is probably one of the best feelings in the whole world, two opposite emotions coming together to cause a little explosion in your soul. Amy Poehler described it way better in her book Yes Please (which is the best book ever written!!): “Going from crying to laughing that fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive, and I believe it extends our life by many years.” I look forward to having my life extended many times this year. Putting aside everything, the fear, the emotion. I think I’m most looking forward to finishing something I start. I am probably the queen of starting projects and not finishing them. I have many half written articles, half painted paintings and dead plants scattered across my room. But year 12 the biggest and most intense project I will ever start and, even if I go a little crazy, will finish.

-10.58pm 10th of January 2019

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