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Rolling in the deep, blue HSC

Two men using laptop outsideThe final year of high school. We have finally kicked out the year ahead of us and have taken our rightful place at the top of the school! But what does this new social status come with? A whole lot of assessments, countless late nights, some minor (or major!) breakdowns and endless tubs of Ben and Jerry ice cream when you have just had enough!

Welcome aboard the HSC! Please raise your hands while the safety bar is put in place and enjoy the ride! The epic, what may seem like never ending, rollercoaster of the final year of school is a debatable topic every year. When the university offers were announced last year, I sat with friends from older years who were ecstatic that they got into such a hard course, friends disappointed that they didn’t get into their first preference and a whole lot in between. But what I still cannot grasp is how one little number causes all this fuss!

The ATAR is a number that is over exaggerated and (by some) is perceived to be a direct representation of the person themselves. To me school is not just about marks and numbers but it is a chance to develop your skills, test your boundaries in all areas (from drama, sport, debating and public speaking) and further consolidate your identity. I am as excited as if I was in Disneyland! But I know that many of my peers are having trouble coping with what the final year of school will bring. 

From chatting with the survivors of previous rollercoaster rides I have developed my own attitude which I hope to maintain throughout the year.  My attitude going into this year is one of determination, excitement and fun and I would like to share with you my plans for handling the pressures of the HSC:
  • Hard work. And a lot of it! But not too much that you burn out, just enough to keep motivated, on task and achieving your best!
  • Creating achievable goals to keep your head in the game! Some examples, I already have my eye on some uni courses whose entrance marks range dramatically (keeping your options open!)
  • Create a ‘safety bar’! Fill it with friends, teachers, family and anyone else you want to take on the ride!
  • Exercise. For me exercise is the most useful stress release method. Either running, swimming, rowing or going to the gym helps me eliminate all the unwanted anxiety, stress and tension that builds over the week.
  • Keep the social life! Don’t chain yourself to your desk but keep in touch with your friends (and not just over Facebook). Grab a coffee, see a movie or sneak out to a Max Brenner as me and my best friend do to enjoy some chocolate goodness!
  • Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Last term I began pestering my teachers for help and it is so worth it! When they know you are committed to working hard they bend over backwards to support you in millions and trillions of ways.

Let me know what you are doing to survive this rollercoaster. And remember rollercoasters always have an end…just a few loopy loops along the way!!