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How to stress less and keep motivated

By Mairead Stone

Ten weeks in and this term has been jam-packed full of assessments, music festival practices, community events and extra-curricular activities, leaving not a lot of free time. Whilst you may not be getting those recommended 10 hours of sleep a night, there are ways to help you get back on your feet after a mid-term slump.

1. Keep perspective

Easier said than done, a little injection of perspective a day makes it easier to deal with looming deadlines and growing mental to-do lists. Taking time to be globally aware or even looking briefly at news headlines makes you realise how small our day-to-day anxieties are. We don’t have to worry about being deprived of our basic human rights, having our voices silenced or being denied most opportunities due to our gender. Our amazing teachers provide us with so much support, which public schools don’t have the privilege of. It may be a bit grim at times, but the mentality of ‘it could be worse’ allows you to appreciate the good things, and makes the bad things seem less important.

2. Your happiness comes first

The goal of life isn’t a mark or an ATAR, it’s your happiness. If you get a high mark or get into a prestigious university but you’re miserable, what’s the point? Assessments make up a minimal part of your life so make sure you’re making the most of your time by figuring out what makes you happy. Spend time with your family and friends or take up a new hobby. Balance is key; it’s ok to take time out if you need to. Taking care of your happiness and mental health will allow you to perform better at school as well.

3. Pay attention in class

Scrolling through emails and online shopping are tempting but paying attention in class will save you much more time later. This will give you more free time to help you stress less and enable you to understand basic concepts to keep you motivated.

4. Support each other

Everyone’s going through the same stress so take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Check up on other people, share notes and have discussions about what you learn in class. You’ll be able to see what you’re not confident in and help others in the areas that you do know, which helps to solidify your own understanding.

5. Keep the end in mind

Have short-term checkpoints that you can look forward to – a party on the weekend, a community event (like Music Fest) or even just the end of the school day. Working your way to checkpoints allows you to have a break, even just for a few hours, to have fun and relax before getting back into it, as opposed to working hard non-stop until the end of the year.

The most important thing to remember is that stress and being unmotivated will pass. So many people have gone through the same experience and come out successful. As long as you believe in yourself, you will too.


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