Most of us are probably sick of lockdown. If you’re one of the lucky few who aren’t… well good for you I guess but for the rest of us, we need to cope somehow. After all, life doesn’t just stop. We still have responsibilities and for those in senior school, your top priority of studying up for the HSC won’t change either.
But there might just be one positive to lockdown – you save on travel time and so you should take advantage of it! Instead of having to leaving the home earlier for school, you can now use the time to either study before class or get in some extra sleep (please please PLEASE don’t discount the importance of sleep – without adequate sleep you will be more likely to underperform and lack concentration).
That being said, it can be very tempting to either allow study to consume your entire life or to get distracted because you don’t have your peers around you to motivate you. My advice for both situations? Try to form some kind of study group with your peers and stay connected, whether it be via a messaging platform like Messenger or calling once a week via Zoom.
But it’s social media
I know, I know, social media. In the times before COVID, it seemed like all the advice out there for the HSC revolved around minimising distractions, controlling phone time and giving up social media, but is that really a feasible option now?
Sure, okay, social media is undeniably distracting. I’m sure we’ve all experienced suddenly losing 1-2h of our day just with one click on a social media platform – it is designed to be addictive after all. But now in lockdown you don’t have the luxury to see your friends (or even people outside your household for that matter) on a daily basis and that can be incredibly disheartening.
Also, say you are struggling with understanding a topic, or maybe you want some feedback on the essay you have just written. While your first point of call SHOULD be your teachers, remember that they are human too and only have a finite amount of time to help you out. On the other hand, if you swapped and read over essays with a friend, you’re not only getting another perspective on your writing, but helping them to perform better.
That’s why balance is so incredibly important. There is no need to give up social media completely as long as you avoid the temptation to constantly check it while you are studying. I would recommend placing your phone somewhere completely out of reach or installing an app like Forest, which will record your studying hours and prevent you from using other apps. You could also try scheduling in 5-10 minute social media breaks for every 1-2 hours studied just to reward yourself and help you remain motivated in your study.
Finally, remain positive! The HSC is hard enough as it is and lockdown definitely doesn’t make things any better, but remember to look at the bigger picture. You aren’t defined by your marks and you should try to cope with lockdown like everyone else – a chance to pause, take a break, and have a shot at things which you might not have had time for before.