When I first entered year 11, I thought it was all over for me. Time to solely focus on my study and sacrifice everything else, and I mean.. everything. But trust me, this is not the case. Having a balance is crucial and will help you reach the path to success.
We’ve all thought at one stage that years 11 and 12 were years of sacrifice. However, when going through these years it is crucial to make time for social and extracurricular activities as they are part of helping you reach your goal for many reasons. I’ll explain to you why and how to do this, coming from a student who completely burnt herself out in year 11!
In my year 11 year, I put all my focus on study, stopping all extra-curricular and social activities. And believe it or not, my marks weren’t even near where I wanted them to be. Confused, irritated and unable to comprehend why I wasn’t doing well despite my full focus on study, I had completely burnt myself out by the end of year 11, to the point where I had contemplated not sitting my preliminary exams. My body had completely and utterly shut down.
However, learning from this mistake, I made it my goal in year 12 to keep a balance, and my marks shot up. Although I still prioritised study, I made sure I kept a balance; participating in activities, keeping in contact with friends, and spending time with my family. This helped me focus better while I was studying, avoiding the casual stare out the window. I started to work more efficiently, meaning I spent less time studying yet getting more work done. I ensured my study schedule included social activities which helped me set goals as to what needs to be finished by what day, encouraging me to finish work earlier and avoid the last minute rush. My year 12 achievements can be attributed to the successful balance I had created, avoiding the extreme stress and burn out I could have experienced in trials and HSC, similar to what happened to me in year 11.
Creating a study schedule
The inclusion of social and extra curricular activities in years 11 and 12 can be simultaneously achieved with excelling in your studies, however, this makes time management pivotal. Consequently, creating a study schedule is critical in doing this. When creating your study schedule, it must be done to accommodate time for extracurricular and social activities to reduce procrastination, allowing you to manage your time better. This is because it will help you
- Prioritise tasks
- Plan time efficiently to reduce wasted time
- Avoid procrastination
- Maintain motivation
This overall helps you develop a sufficient and achievable study plan. For example, if you know you have a sports event on the weekend, it will increase your productivity while studying for an exam during the week as you are aware time will be given away from studying for that exam on the weekend. This creates greater efficiency while studying and reduces lost time that may be created wandering around. Sitting at your desk all day and dedicating your time solely to study will greatly reduce concentration. Rewarding yourself is a great way to encourage your body to work towards achieving something.
Making time for those around you
Making time for those around you is greatly important as those around you are there to support you through a couple of the toughest years. To ensure you make time for them, prioritise what study needs to be completed first and set aside recharge time for yourself where you can get in contact with them - a message, phone call or quick coffee out. You could also be active together, a simple walk in the afternoons together to destress.
Additionally, making time for those around you will be effectively done if you keep your study schedule flexible and realistic, while avoiding small distractions like the occasional instagram check while studying which all adds up and takes away from your concentration.
The importance of having and using support systems
Through these tough years, your support systems will become a backbone for you. It is inevitable that you will have tough days, times you want to give up and days where you wonder if your goal is even achievable. However, talking to your support system and getting advice from them will assuredly assist you in staying on track and offering comfort when needed, because, let's be real, we all need it at some point.
If you feel as though you don't have a support system, I assure you your teachers will be there to offer a lending hand or ear to listen. Your teachers and tutors consistently support you and provide you with motivation, always encouraging you maximise your results. I had a teacher whom I adored in year 12, helping me get through my toughest days - her listening to me rant was enough to take a heavy weight off my chest. Talking to people and receiving their guidance will help you buffer stress and bolster you emotionally. Remember to always reach out, you are not alone.
If you’re interested in receiving tutoring, support or guidance from someone who has been through the tough years of year 11 and 12, reach out to our KIS tutors.
Written by KIS Academics Tutor, Verdi Maximous. She currently tutors the subjects she state ranked in - HSC Business Studies and Studies of Religion II - as well as year 7-10 math. She currently studies Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney. You can view Sarah’s profile here and request her as a tutor.