THE best advice Isabelle Higgins received during Year 12 was to remember to enjoy her last year at school and not get overwhelmed with academics.
The 18-year-old St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls graduate, now studying a double degree at The University of Notre Dame, says preparing for Year 12 exams is undoubtedly stressful.
She urges students to relax and continue the activities they love.
“It may seem like your weekly sports trainings or that morning surfing session is a waste of time, however it’s so important to take breaks and tune out for a few hours here and there doing something you love so that you can de-stress and process what you’ve learnt,” Ms Higgins said.
“Year 12 is a really exciting year so it’s super important to try and relax and enjoy time with your high school friends for the last time, such as at the school ball and other milestone events.
“My friends and I tried to catch up for dinner in the lead up to the exams to take our minds off study, as well as attending a weekly group fitness class at our local gym to relieve a bit of stress in a social way.”
Ms Higgins said another good idea was to use a diary planner.
“You have so many things going on in your head to remember, so take some of that burden away by writing down what you have on and when assignments are due,” she said.
“Also, the night before an exam I would read my notes a few times and then put them aside to watch a movie or have a cup of tea and hang out with my family as there is no point staying up late and stressing before an exam, even if you are feeling like you can’t remember anything.”
St Hilda’s Year 12 student Mary Pethick said going for a run and starting the day with yoga had assisted her throughout the year.
“I do this mainly to help approach every day with a fresh perspective, which makes it a lot easier to deal with pressures and challenges of Year 12,” she said.
“Another thing I do is tell myself to just take one day at a time, but to continue to put in all my effort because I know that it will pay off in the end.”
Charlotte Salom (Year 12) also exercises to ease pressures around study time.
She enjoys swimming, tennis and netball and uses the gym before or after school.
“Music is a passion and it is often relaxing for me to practise or simply listen to music as a way to alleviate stress,” Charlotte said.
“Also, I will try to write a program of what I hope to achieve in a day in terms of study to make sure I have a goal and manage my time wisely.
“It is important for me to have proper breaks and changes of scenery – studying at home in the morning then using the school library and tute centre as study resources and work zones in the afternoon.”