In Year 12, it can feel like you’re slowly losing your sanity as the term progresses.
Your stress levels may be increasing with each assignment and exam – and that’s normal!
Not everyone has a smooth journey through HSC, as school stress as well as external factors outside of school can affect someone’s learning.
This could be family relations, part time jobs, medical conditions or relationships.
However, I’m here to help you maintain your sanity during Year 12 with these 3 tips!
Keeping your mind focused in Year 12
It is perfectly normal to have dilemmas occur outside of school that could possibly impact studying.
I’ve found that keeping focus on school may be difficult because of this but it’s not impossible.
In a study conducted by UNSW in 2015, it was found that 42 per cent of Year 12 students had high anxiety levels, demonstrating that it is normal to not be 100% relaxed and focused on school.
Although maintaining focused on school is important, it is vital to remember that your Year 12 performance is only a measure of your ability to perform in a exam at one exact point in time.
How well you go in Year 12 does not control your future success or happiness.
And so, school isn’t something that should be driving your sanity to the brink.
Tip #1: Study where there are no distractions
My best strategy is to take all I need for study out with me and go to a place where I can feel relaxed and be alone.
This may be the library, just down to a local park or even a beach if that’s what works for you.
Spotify has some great playlists to listen to while studying. It’s also been proven that listening to new music whilst studying improves your study skills!
I also put my phone on airplane mode to limit distractions or temptation to jump onto social media.
There are plenty of apps that are out there to help you study effectively. One app that I find particularly helpful is ‘Focus Booster’.
This app uses the Pomodoro Technique, which times 25 minute intervals of work followed by a 5 minute break.
It’s great for people who struggle to study for long periods of time, allowing them to break up their study .
Tip #2: Take breaks
After this study session, let the thought of school leave your mind for the next couple of hours and enjoy some free time.
You might want to use the other side of your brain and do something creative, like playing an instrument or doing some drawing. Otherwise, you might want to get active and go for a jog or hit the gym.
Talking to someone about things is also a great strategy to have some down time so that you don’t keep things bottled up in your head on your own.
There is always SOMEONE to talk to, whether it be another student, teacher, counsellor or Headspace. No one is alone in this journey.
Tip #3: Be realistic
It’s important to be realistic!
If something is really impacting your performance, it could be beneficial to inform your teacher.
Leniency can be given in stressful situations which ensures you don’t push yourself too hard.
Don’t be afraid to request an extension on some homework. Teachers do understand the complications that may occur in life and are humans too believe it or not.
And that wraps up my top 3 tips to keep your sanity during the HSC!
Remember that some things you just can’t control and it’s NOT your fault, so don’t beat yourself up over it.
School is not the be all and end all of our lives, so it is important to focus on school as much as you can but maintaining your sanity comes first!
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Kimberly McKenzie is a stressed-out Year 12 student at St Josephs Regional College in Port Macquarie. She studies Modern History, Legal Studies, Business Studies, Geography, Advanced English and Studies of Religion. She aspires to leave her small country town and move to Sydney when she’s finished her HSC, hopefully studying something to do with business. When she’s not working one of her two jobs, sleeping or studying, you can find Kimberly at her local dog beach with her Staffy x Beagle dog or binge watching That 70’s Show for the 5th time on Netflix!