The final years of secondary school can prove to be a trying time for Australian teens as well as for those who love them.
Where Year 12 can be one of the best and worst years of a high school student’s life. When it seems your whole life depends on how well you perform in your HSC exams and, if you are wanting to attend university, what ATAR you receive.
In addition to grappling with the everyday angst of normal teenage life, many families face additional pressures as they valiantly assist their teens to navigate their way through exam stress.
Acknowledge it’s part of your journey
Whilst it may be consuming all your time and your thoughts right now, it’s not forever, and it’s part of your life journey. You may not always enjoy the study, but something’s waiting on the other side. Take the time to acknowledge the climb.
Miley Cyrus summed it up perfectly in her song, The Climb;
Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side.
It’s the climb.
Reward yourself for hard work
Let’s face it, there will most likely be some subjects or topics that are not your favourite that you possibly won’t enjoy. So reward yourself with things you do enjoy as an incentive for completing the things you don’t enjoy.
Whether it’s going for a walk or a jog, playing an instrument, watching a quick episode of Friends, or munching on M&Ms, treat yourself for your hard work on the yukky stuff.
Don’t worry, be happy
Take advice from those who have done this and learn from others’ mistakes… don’t let the HSC affect your well being.
There may be times when you feel like your spirit is being crushed. Exams can be overwhelming, but it is really important to recognise any signs if you’re not feeling like your usual self. Help is widely available, check in with someone and seek help if you need it for this exam period.
Believe it or not, chances are your parents have experienced what you’re going through back in their day at school. While they may not be able to eradicate your concerns about your future or relieve your worries about performing under pressure, they could help to redirect you when your focus wanes.
Design experts say there are a multitude of ways to promote familial harmony within your home to help support pre-exam nerves.
Take away distractions
Creating a secluded workspace for your teen to study in private may prove critical to both your and your teen’s sanity.
Whether it’s separating an existing space with a privacy panel, or designating study space in a quiet corner, creating a harmonious environment for your teen can go a long way to reducing conflict in a what is a traditionally a stressful time for them.
Think outside the square
Most teens are not made to sit still. After a long day of sitting down in class, few relish the chance to sit at a rigid desk again at home to undertake further study or complete homework.
If this sounds like your home, consider sourcing furnishings that offer your loved one the chance to study in a different position such as stand-up desks, swiss balls in place of traditional desk chairs or a bean bag for times when they are required to read a lot of text.
It takes all types to make the world go around and nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to teen’s stationery supplies.
While some children are very organised and bring home all the equipment they require to complete their homework or studies, others live in the moment and forget to bring home the calculators, text books and device chargers required, perhaps avoiding undertaking extra study once home.
By having school supplies within easy reach, your teen will be able to settle into work much easier while developing good work habits rather than giving into procrastination or distraction.
Having adequate storage for the items dear to them is a big thing for most teens. When looking to help reduce unwanted arguments or terse exchanges, think about having well organised storage space that is easily accessible and avoids clutter.
School and sports bags should not be in overhead cupboards or stashed in the bottom of a wardrobe, rather stored in open shelving at an accessible height where they can be reached easily, ensuring your teen (or you) are not forced to waste time looking for items instead of helping them to study.
Involve them in your style decisions
Perhaps the most important tip passed on from design experts when it comes to creating a great environment to allow teens to learn, and families to prosper, is to invite your teen to get involved in the creation process.
Experts say that by allowing your child to pick out the colour, style or furnishings of their choice, providing it’s within your budget of course, you are increasing the likelihood they will find the space appealing and utilise it for its intended purpose.
We wish all the students within our communities all the very best for their exams. Please remember what Miley sang… the struggles I’m facing, the chances I’m taking sometimes might knock me down but NO I’m not breaking. Stay strong, good luck and enjoy the experience.