I know, I know. You’re probably looking at this and thinking not another of these posts again. I had that same mindset too – after all, it IS the HSC. And I’m certainly not here to say that it’ll be easier either because trust me, it won’t be. But while there are lots of things you may need to sacrifice in Year 12 – whether it be a few extra hours on social media or that party inconveniently scheduled the night before a big exam – your health should always be your top priority.
First of all, think in the bigger picture.
Year 12 is one year. Seeing as the average Australian lives to their 80s… basic maths tells us that chances are you’ve still got a good sixty years ahead of you.
The ATAR is one number. It gets into uni and after that, it loses its significance. Most of us don’t even remember what we scored once uni begins.
So, obviously, your health is far more important in the long run.
If you find yourself struggling to deal with the workload, exam stress or anything really, don’t be afraid to go and speak to your school counsellor. They’re full of great advice on how to look after your mental health.
School counsellors are also by confidentiality so anything you say will remain private from your friends, the school and your family. This makes them a great avenue of support for anyone who might not be willing to share their issues with the people in their day to day lives.
You will be surprised at how much better you might feel if you just shared your anxieties rather than keeping them bottled in. The additional bonus? School counsellors are free (well.. not technically, your parents pay for them in your school fees and as taxpayers)!! Seriously though, take advantage of all the resources that you can get your hands on.
Make sure to get sufficient rest and stay hydrated. For some reason, the HSC seems to make many Year 12s forget that sleep and water are two basic needs for survival. You won’t get much out of studying if you’re really tired and can’t concentrate. This is known in economics as a diminishing rate of return. There is a difference between how much you could and should be studying, and once you reach a certain point, each additional hour of study will no longer give you the same utility as the one before. In layman’s terms? The more you study, the less you’re going to get out of it.
The same applies for your assessment periods. Instead of spending cramming the night before the exam, you would be better off sleeping for a few extra hours and going into the exam with a fresh mind. So many people make the mistake of sitting the exam with the wrong mindset (whether it be from partying till midnight the night before or stressing themselves out about a syllabus dot point) and end up severely underperforming.