Anyone who has endured their senior year of school will know the unique pressures all year 12’s around the country are under right now.
End of year exams and the looming end of high school can feel stressful for so many different reasons, often for the first time in many young people’s lives. As we travel through this period of time together, we’ve compiled our list of top tips to help support any year 12 student in your life that might be needing that extra bit of support.
1. Listening and being present is sometimes all it takes.
Sometimes it might just be solidarity, not a solution, that your year 12 is looking for when speaking about something. Maybe it does feel overwhelming to think about life after school, or maybe that test was testing them on information they’ll never use again. When there’s no way past a situation except through it, acknowledgement and words of support can go a long way.
2. Give some space to breathe.
In a period of time that can be so overwhelming, having a designated, clearly defined and safe space to be alone can be a real lifesaver. Establishing expectations of boundaries and respect can be mutually beneficial for both year 12’s and all who may surround them.
3. Maintain creative practices for support (not distraction).
There’s no denying the many incredible mental and physical benefits associated with consistent creative practice. From relieving anxiety through to increasing immunity and focus, having an outlet for creative expression is immensely beneficial for anyone under pressure. At this time, encourage your year 12 student to stay as creative as possible around exams and study-for not only their happiness but also their exam results!
4. Encourage healthy habits.
Obvious, but also paramount to all else, is health. It goes without saying that sleep, diet and movement has tremendous benefits for the mood, energy and ability of your grade 12 student. Who knows, those extra few Z’s or pieces of fruit might provide the essentiel synapses to ace that tricky exam!
5. Maximise breaks.
Breaks are highly coveted slices of time right now so, if your year 12 student is going to take a break, encourage them to break hard (not too hard though!). Reading a book for a mental break? Go and read that book outdoors in the sunlight. Having a snack? Make it delicious and nutritious. Having a stretch? Pop on a Youtube yoga class and hear those shoulders crack. Maximising break time is one of the best ways to maximise non-break time.
6. Identify and mitigate weak points.
It's the most universal human trait to have a habit or two that can negatively affect the way we operate. Identifying these habits and taking balanced, positive action to mitigate them will be massively beneficial to your grade 12 (and might set some positive habits in their place!). Techniques like time limits and intervals are usually far more manageable than straight up deprivation, but ultimately it’s about listening and working with your year 12 to make sure that they’re able to get the most out of all aspects of life.