We all know the struggle of trying to juggle your studies, social life and extracurriculars. Particularly for Year 12s, when the pressure is on with external exams looming and the excitement of Schoolies just around the corner, trying to study with everything else on your plate can feel extremely overwhelming.
Hopefully this will provide you with some useful advice and strategies for those of you in Year 12 (and other high school students) who might be in this position, and are looking for tips to try and lessen the stress you may be experiencing,
1. Stress due to pressure on high academic performance
Whether you are at a selective school surrounded by pressure to excel academically, or if your parents are expecting you to achieve an ATAR above 90, many of you may feel pressured to push your marks up as much as possible.
As difficult as it sounds, during your high school years, it is important to try your best to ignore surrounding expectations and set your own personal goals. By setting realistic goals for yourself to work towards, that would also satisfy you and lead you to your desired career path, anything anyone else says becomes irrelevant.
In order to do this try to create short and long term goals throughout the year and create a guide for yourself on how to achieve them. This could include creating a checklist for the amount of time to spend on study during the day, achievable marks for each subject and particular study techniques and work to complete. After this, each day you can create a short list of daily goals. The list doesn’t need to have more than 3-5 things as the goal of this is to reduce the overwhelming feelings induced by pressure.
Consequently, in having a short high priority list, you can reduce the stress experienced by the pressure by shifting your focus towards achievable goals. In being able to complete these, this could provide you confidence in your abilities and ability to achieve your goals. In particular, this arises from pressure inducing overwhelming feelings and causing you to feel lost due to the immense amount of work required. However, a priority list can help rectify this issue.
2. Parties and friends
During year 12, you may feel like it’s time to focus purely on studying for HSC exams and ensuring you are adequately prepared. However, friends may constantly pressure you to go out with them or go to parties. You might find yourself in the situation where friends are saying that you are always studying and you shouldn’t be focusing on studying so much.
While it is valid that you aren’t expected to be studying constantly, as taking breaks and keeping a balance is pivotal, it is important to ignore any pressure to partake in anything you believe may hinder your goals.
As difficult as it may seem in the moment of pressure, it is important to try to think about what YOU want. Do you want to go out, have fun and take a break? Or do you feel like you have a lot of work to do and require that time to yourself?
These are some important questions to ask yourself anytime you feel pressured, otherwise you will regret the decision made under the pressure imposed by others. It is important to purely focus upon your schedule and your current goals in place and determine whether this may hinder your momentum or you would like to go out and have the time to do so.
Consequently, it is imperative to remember your motivations, goals and implement a plan to achieve this. If you have a great routine in place and implement strategies to achieve your goals, any pressure imposed can have a minimal impact on you if you are confident in what you want and how you will achieve it.
3. Stay away!
If there are people who are constantly pressuring you to partake in something you don’t want to do or consistently demotivating your studies or setting high expectations, try your best to avoid encounters with them that provide them with the opportunity to pressure you.
Of course there are some people you cannot avoid, but if you surround yourself with toxic friends who don’t recognise and acknowledge your goals and viewpoint, then it is best to try to limit your interactions with them and focus on yourself and those who support your decisions.
4. Generally feeling overwhelmed by pressure
When feeling overwhelmed by varying pressures, it is very beneficial to talk to someone you can confide in. By talking about your issues and discussing with someone, sometimes it enables you to get off something that is bothering you off your chest and remove any lingering concerns that you may constantly have on your mind. In addition to this, discussing the pressures experienced with someone may help you recognise a possible solution or the person you are speaking to could provide you with some useful insight on how to uniquely approach your situation.
Overall, just pause and think about what you are being pressured about and give yourself a moment to clear your mind of any worries, ready to reapproach the situation in a calm manner!
Written by KIS Academics Tutor Sandrine Maximous for Maths and more HSC subjects! You can view Sandrine's profile here and request her as a tutor.