Home teen-life What is Year 13, and why should you consider it?

What is Year 13, and why should you consider it?

by Kala Middlebrook

When I finished High School in 2007, I was unsure and undecided where God wanted me to be or what he wanted me to do with my life. It took going through TAFE for a term, volunteering at church, working, and applying for Christian jobs, before I found myself sitting in an interview for Year 13 in 2009.

That day was when my life changed.

For people who don’t know what Year 13 is, it is a gospel-based gap year program that is designed for people when they finish school before heading into TAFE, Uni or work – and even sometimes for the rare few like me – that add an extra step into the pattern.

The most impacting thing from Year 13 was the relationships that I built during the year, not only with other Year 13-ers but also with God. I have made some great friends that I miss seeing each Thursday and Friday. My relationship with God is stronger then ever and I can clearly see that God is the head of my life.

It is was great to spend a year getting into God’s word not only in the 'Bible in a Year' challenge, but studying subjects like Theology of Everyday Life, Apologetics, Biblical Theology of Mission, Ethics, and Cross-Cultural Field Education (where Year 13 as a massive group headed to Fiji for a month).

Fiji would have had to be the hardest part of Year 13 but the experience I had, impacted me never-the-less. I learned to face my fears of being in another country, to learn to trust the open waters. While in Fiji, I meet a young lady that said that we should take any chance that we have for fellowship with God, whether it be in Church or in our conversations with other Christians.

We have made so many memories:

From sitting an exam, to stressing out over the exam; to our chill-out day where someone got kicked in the head; our formal where we danced on a boat and sang in the harbour while having a photo taken of the whole group; and our last night together at our graduation where tears were shared and memories re-told – we sang our favourites and shared what our dreams were.

I never really knew what to expect at the first week of college, and even right up to the last week of college. But I can happily tell anyone that asks that Year 13 was the best year of my life and I have no regrets. So if you are undecided or unsure where God wants you to be when you finish high school, take the chance and apply for Year 13 – it is just one year out of your life and it could change your world.

You can find out more about Year 13 on the Youthworks website.

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