This article was written by Lydia McClelland, a current English & Literature tutor. Lydia currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in her services, please go here.
Year 11 & 12 = stress. That’s what everyone says, right? But what if you could not only learn to cope but thrive in the high-pressured environment? Let’s look at some ways of transforming your experience into one of the best years of your life.
Reward yourself. Giving yourself consistent positive reinforcements is super important (right, Psych students?)! When I was in year 12, I had a History Revolutions teacher who would give us a chocolate for every piece of work we handed in. This was (obviously) an incredibly powerful motivator. It doesn’t have to be chocolate; bargain with yourself while you’re studying! You could allow yourself to watch a 5 minute YouTube video after attempting five more questions. Be strict with yourself on this, but not too strict. You can’t rely on others to do it, so make sure that you’re recognising your own achievements. Anyway, who knows? Maybe you’ll come to associate a tricky subject with something you love!
2. Stop worrying. I’ve seen people fall prey to harsh self-critical thoughts if they feel they aren’t reaching their full potential, or if they get one SAC mark they aren’t happy with. But this is a self-perpetuating cycle and only serves to worsen the situation! Try to focus on your strengths, the things that make you amazing, and surround yourself with people who see that too. If you have anxiety you can’t deal with or no one to talk to, you aren’t alone – consider seeing a psychologist!
3. Have hobbies. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to sacrifice everything for year 12! In fact, it’s maintaining this balance between work and downtime that will allow you to perform at your best, with a positive mindset. When I was in year 12, I played sport every week, practised and had lessons for two musical instruments, did some part-time work, went to every party I wanted to and mostly got enough sleep to function. I did everything I needed to, but I didn’t spend my every waking moment studying. I was pleasantly surprised on ATAR day to get a 99 – the “good grades” vs “social life” vs “sleep” triangle is a myth!
Get out there and make the most out of your experiences – year 11 & 12 is an amazing opportunity for personal growth in so many areas. Make it a year you’ll remember for the right reasons!
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