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Thursday Thoughts: Being Vulnerable

I was 10min in to a seminar I was presenting and I for sure thought it was going to bomb. The majority of the students were disengaged and were not paying attention. Naturally my heart started racing, I was forgetting to breathe while I was talking and I had 3 more hours left of the program to deliver!

If didn’t come up with something quick, then I knew it would be over. Amongst the stress I thought perhaps if I just be real and really dive deep into the emotion and share a bit of my personal life then maybe, just maybe, I could get them on to my side. 

I’m not going to go into too much detail, but what happened was as soon as I started talking about the struggle of high school life, crumbling under pressure, talking about expectations and how damaging it is to yourself when you compare yourself to other people and opening up about my own experiences with this, everyone in the room was silent and attentive.

I think there’s something about when you feel what you’re saying when you talk about anything, especially pain and struggle, that makes people want to listen.

I endeavoured to figure out what it was and it lead me to reading short stories and listening to other people talk about struggles and significant events in their lives.

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I think when you talk about what it is that you’re going through or what you went through;  It makes people feel like they’re not the only ones who are suffering and they can subsequently deal with their situation with a bit more resilience and hope. 

 

 

I used to be hard wired into thinking that when you share your emotions and your story - it’s a weakness. When in fact, it is an incredible tool to connect with people and make them feel better about themselves and their situation. 

So I encourage you, with the right people and context of course, to share some of your stories and listen to what other people have to say about theirs. Whether you’re the one sharing or the one listening, either way, it's relieving.

Written by Himal

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Why you shouldn't study/work at all one day a week

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Why you shouldn't study/work at all one day a week

To many disillusioned students - there is never ever enough time to do anything at all. There's always lectures to catch up on, classes to prepare for, readings and assignments to do. So why do we say you shouldn't work at all for an entire day?

Avoid burnout

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This is the one I see the most often, especially in year 12. You feel like everyone is working at a blistering breakneck pace and you need to catch up. Sometimes it never feels like enough - and before you know it. you're a burnt up husk of who you used to be.

This is burnout. Why is it - the most successful people you know, they somehow seem to always have time to go to parties, go out, and have fun. It's cause when you're burnt out, you can't do anything. They have something going on.

Give you time to enjoy life

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Keeping your sanity within the semester is more than just being on top of your school work, but also not turning into a hermit that does nothing all day but study.

Plus, if your eventual goal after graduating is to get a job - the difference between an 85 and a 90 matters a whole lot less than what you do in other aspects (work, volunteering, projects, etc)

‘Reset' your week

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This is the perfect time to get your week in order, making lists of what you're going to do, what you're going to achieve and ‘reset’ the clutter that accumulated within the week.

Whether that means cleaning your room, creating a bullet journal, or having a long think of what you see the week being - this is a good time to reflect, reset and re-emerge as a better person ;)

Plus - who doesn't want an excuse not to study at all. Here's my prescription for you: Once a week, take an entire day of no studying, and enjoy.

- Mark

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Jack of All Trades, Master of None

We are constantly encouraged to be good at everything. Be organized and analytical, yet highly creative and able to think out the box. Be an extrovert as well as being an introvert, be a great leader, but also a competent follower… sounds confusing, doesn’t it?

Say you could be all of them; you have all these characteristics, but how would you describe yourself? What makes you stand out?

The honest answer is, to be honest, nothing. Because you might be good at everything, but you won’t be great at any one thing. In other words, you’ll be a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

Doubt Usain is lightning fast at math hey?

Doubt Usain is lightning fast at math hey?

Many want to be really good at everything. You want to be able to do math like her, you want to be able to have swift handles like him, you want to communicate effectively like her; you constantly compare yourself to other people and, as a result, end up feel inadequate. “I’m not good enough.”

If you truly want to be great, then aim to be a master of your own personality traits and not so much what everyone else has. No one person is the same. If that were true then the world would be fairly boring.

Through finding and working out your own traits, you’ll find you have a genuine interest and passion in your everyday life. For instance, if you realise you have a very theoretical and analytical mind, you might enjoy math. You’ll go beyond what is required for you to study because you simply are intrigued by its complexity. After this increased level of passion you’ll eventually attain some level of success in that area and your motivation and confidence will then rise. Once your self-esteem rises you’ll hone that skill of yours and make it your own. You may not be a jack of all trades in the end, but its better than being a master of none.

This doesn’t go to say that even if you do something that isn’t aligned with your personality you won’t have success in that field; many people are successful but in the wrong field and continuously lead a life comparing themselves to others and having a low level of self-esteem.

Finding your personality traits:

Method 1: Trial and error

Try picking up an activity or subject that you think you might enjoy.

-       Pros

     o   Most intimate learning experience

-       Cons

     o   Can risk embarrassment and continuously failing can shatter self-esteem

Method 2: Introspection (reflecting)

Spend 5min a day reflecting on your behaviour and write down your thoughts!

Below are a few examples of questions you could ask yourself when trying to figure out your patterns of behaviour.

  • How do I respond when I am angry with someone?
  • Do I tend to take charge in a conversation?
  • Am I outspoken or quiet?
  • Am I an introvert or extrovert?

Try reading Personality Plus by Florence Littauer to discover a bit more about yourself and your personality!

Written by Himal

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2 cents for First Years #1

Our TQ team are all heading in to second year uni after a challenging but rewarding first year. We figured we should share our 2 cents as it may save you a lot of stress and anxiety during your first semester!

1.     Beware second/third Week escalation

From: http://kclegacypress.com/archives/5215

From: http://kclegacypress.com/archives/5215

In the first week of university, you might find it relaxing and laid back and it may seem like the opportune moment to step on your back foot. However, be extremely cautious; before you know it, your first assignments will come out and you’ll be under the pump trying to complete them whilst keeping up with the week’s lectures and tutes. It is not difficult at all to fall behind!

 

2.     Make friends in your tutorials!

Often, the person sitting next to you in your first tute is most likely in the same boat as you. They may not know anyone else in the tute and they most likely haven’t begun adjusting to uni life. So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and make connections with people.

This also comes in handy when your subjects have group assignments. Working with someone you’re familiar with may assist in the completion of the assignment. However, don’t be afraid to work  with new people as they may help you see things from a different perspective!

 

3.     You may lose friends :(

The sad reality is, many people may lose strong bonds with high school friends when they come to uni. It’s not the same 9-3:15 day anymore where you get to see your friends before school, at recess, during lunchtime and after school. It’s hard to keep the friendship going without the constant contact, especially if you’re at different universities.

However, you may find you still maintain strong bonds with many friends from high school which is fantastic and tells you that they weren’t just your friends because they were with you every day, but because you genuinely enjoy each other’s company and want to spend time together.

 

 

 

Hopefully our 2 cents will make it easier for you to settle in to first year uni :)

Good luck for 2017 from the TQ Team <3

Written by Himal

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To and from Uni

 

The worst part of my day in all the days I travel to uni, which is not much at all (three out of five days of the week) is the actual travelling. For some unexplained reason that I think someone out there should write a thesis on, travelling on Public transport for an hour or more on those days makes me insanely fatigued.

Here’s how my day usually starts.

On a good day, I get up an hour before I need to leave for uni, toss and turn, complain about being tired for a good 10 minutes and then proceed to blink a few times, roll sloth-ily over to the side of my bed and open my blinds to have sun rays beaming through each of the gaps. I slowly proceed to zombie walk to the bathroom to brush my teeth etc. Next, I’ll throw on the standard Uni student outfit; (shirt, chinos and jacket) then have a light breakfast, stretch a bit, hook up my ear phones and walk to the bus stop. From there I’ll catch a bus, train and then tram to get to uni which totals to around an hour and bit on public transport.

 

What generally happens less frequently than I’d like it to, I’ll have a bad day. My mother would slowly open my door and tell me in a low-key irritable voice that I’m late to uni. To which I would respond, “Yeah yeah I’m up” and this time I ONLY complain about being tired for about 5 minutes while stretching and yawning in bed. From there, I’ll have a short shower to wake me up so I don’t look like I’ve died and been resurrected overnight, and to save time I brush my teeth in the shower, get out within 4 minutes as if Australia was in a terrible drought, piece together standard Chinos, T-shirt and hoodie combo and have an UP&GO on the train to uni.

 

It’s either one of the two types of days that occur for uni. However, the biggest, most frustrating and confusing aspect of the day is how tired I get from just travelling on public transport. My friends and I share this feeling empathetically, especially when we have to travel all the way to the city to attend uni. I once had to go to uni for a 15 minute meeting and travel all the way back home. Essentially, I was at uni for not even a sixth of the time that I was travelling on that day. When I got home, I was exhausted and felt like I had a full day of classes.

 

I really wish someone out there would find a cure or something to prevent this fatigued and lazy repercussion. Either that or it’s two and a half years of torture. To those that have it worse, I commend you on your effort and dedication since I barely survive three out of five weekdays and only twelve contact hours.

Legit every day on the bus

Legit every day on the bus

Written by Himal

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You should stop studying

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You should stop studying

Wait, wait, wait, what? I thought your entire website was all about studying. Now you're telling me to stop?

Yup, exactly that. I want you to stop studying. Well, you should still study, but stop studying so much. I really do mean that. But there are a few things you need to know.

Alright, tell me.

First, I want to make this clear: I don't actually want you to stop studying. What I want you to do is to study in moderation. Just like any activity, too much of one thing is probably bad for you. And there are actually good reasons to do this.

Soooo……they are?

Probably the most obvious, you'll actually have a social life for once. I knew too many people during Year 12 that gave up their hobbies, gave up going out with friends and gave up everything to focus on Year 12. While they did indeed get spectacular scores that would make any parent proud, some had regretted it. They regret quitting that sport, they regret not going to their friend's birthdays; they regret studying so much.

And you know what, 20 years from now, what will you remember? Will you remember going out and having fun with your friends during your youth? Or will you remember slaving away day by day on your desk - with nothing to remember but a score that doesn't really matter after it all. Your ATAR is not the be-all end-all that it's hyped up to be.

But wouldn't going out with friends too much lead to me failing, dropping out and living under a bridge??

The key to anything is moderation. And that's with your social life. You need to learn how to balance everything. You need to study enough so that you will be happy with the next steps you take after you graduate.

I thought that once I finished high school, received my ATAR, everything would be easy from then on. That all my hard work was realised, and that it would be easy cruising from now on. Boy, was I wrong. University is as much work as year 12, and work is not any better at all.

I was naïve, and that's what lead me to realise. Balance. You need to balance everything - school, work, social life. Everything. The work doesn't stop, it didn't stop for me after Year 12, it’s not stopping at uni, and chances are - it's not going to stop when you start working either.

But how can I balance everything when work is piling on around me? I can barely handle everything.

You can, I believe in you. You are capable of more than you think you are. The only thing holding you back is time management, a habit for procrastination and your mindset. If you manage your time properly, you'll find that there is more time in the day.

So if you take the time to stop and smell the roses,  and spend time with your family and friends. You'll realise that they are more important than your studies ever will be.

Written by Mark.

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So... what happens next?

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So... what happens next?

The fingers of my hand dare not move from its position as it glides across the paper of my last exam. With only five minutes to go, I've just got to write my essay’s conclusion and pray for the absence of errors because I don’t have time to double check.

I let out a deep breath and put my pen down in the remaining ten seconds and think for a moment. This is the last time I’ll sit in this room and do an exam; The last few seconds signal the end of my exam and the last few moments of a high school student.

 

‘So…what happens next?’

 

In the following few paragraphs I’ll tell you what happened to me, although personal, I value being vulnerable. Some experiences I have shared with many but some are specific to just myself, but, looking at it holistically, I appreciate every single thing that happened.

 

Part 1: Late November – Early December 2015

I finished exams on the 18th of November 2015 and I felt absolutely nothing. Many felt relieved, overjoyed, anxious (about their ATAR) but, my emotions couldn't be labelled as any of that. Perhaps, I was ignorant and did not realize the array of challenges that will soon face me when I walk out the gates for the last time as a high school student.

 

Long story short, this is what happened in part 1:

1.     Finished exams

2.     Valedictory Night

3.     18th Birthday

4.     Binge-watched movies and TV shows

5.     Received ATAR

 

Part 2: Early December 2015 – Mid-January 2016

After being on the grind for a full year, it was time for me to let loose so, my best friend and I travelled to Queensland where we partook in various unlawful acts (we really didn’t - we’re not that rowdy). He and I pretty much trekked random trails, mountain climbing and swimming at local waterfalls, all of which were activities in Brisbane. Next came classic Schoolies on the Gold Coast. I've never done more rowdy things in my life but, non-regrettably, I cannot share the experiences with you as I swore an oath not to tell a soul.

Shortly after, our trip on the Gold Coast was finished, I travelled to India and spent a month there on a self-development/philosophical camp and then travelled back to Melbourne and commenced training for work.

 

Part 3: Mid-January 2016 – July 2016

If I wasn't relaxing, chilling out and waiting anxiously for university to start in March, I was either with good high school friends, or training for work.

When university started, everything every past student mentioned to me, started crystallising in my daily life and right before I knew it, I was a clueless jaffy (If you have no idea what this means, wait till first year uni, or search it up - whatever suits your fancy).

I won’t go on too much about university as there are previous articles that cover it in detail, but I will discuss what happens socially.

“You’ll find it hard to stay in touch with everyone and you’ll figure out who your true friends are.” - Pretty much every past student

Often, I went out with close friends from high school to someone's place for casual banter, partying and drinks but slowly, all the invites stopped and it seemed as if, I was not welcomed anymore to be a part of that exclusive fun. Having lost that sense of belonging that I felt with that group, the social side of my life was lacking. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have an abundance of friends, but I was close to many in that group so losing that relationship between some of them was tough, it left a feeling of loneliness.

It seems like this article has turned into a diary entry... although, here at The Quintessential, we believe variety keeps things interesting.

Other than that, there’s plenty of enjoyment and fun going around in and outside of campus. The clubs, the parties, the sport, the corporate events, the lunches, the dinners, the work, all are things to look forward to indulging in. It’s a massive change from being limited to a small learning space when now, the whole campus, even the city becomes part of your life.

That was what happened next after high school for me and I'm sure for some others as well. Hopefully I didn't bore you with this piece, or add to your anxiety for what happens next but rather, given you an insight of the reality and difficulty of what happens next… For many it’s easy, not much of a change, you study, you go out and hang out with friends. For other’s it’s a full 180 filled with hardship, character development, success and failure. 

“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing, and work hard.  The right people… the ones who really belong in your life, will come to you. And stay.”
~ Will Smith

Written by,

Himal

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5 reasons why you should go to University Open Days

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5 reasons why you should go to University Open Days

Now I know that some University Open Days have already come and gone, but there are plenty that are still to come. University Open Days are awesome, and if you want to go to university, you had better be prepared to know what you've got in store for the next 3-5 years. After all, you are paying for it.

Testing your transit

Travelling to a university is probably a different experience compared to travelling to your high school. For some people, travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal, and to some you might just need to walk across the road.

However you get to university, this is good practice if you ever decide to go to that particular university. You don't want to end up on your first day, 3 hours late for your lecture because you ended up being in the middle of nowhere.

Whether it takes you 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's good to know beforehand. So try to take the transit method you will actually use when commuting to university.

Travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal...

Travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal...

Know your back ups

Everyone seems to want to go to the open days for the 'top' universities, but many people seem to skip the lesser known ones. This is a bad move. Ideally you would want to go to all the universities that you have placed on your preference list in VTAC (or other state equivalent), so you know what you may be getting yourself into.

Other universities might even have better facilities than the 'best' ones, so it's best to keep that in mind. Furthermore, if you don’t get into your top preference, then you will know that the next university on your list would be a university you don't mind going to.

Know the facilities

This is possibly the most obvious reason to go to Open Days. You need to know if the next three to five years will be spent at a university with facilities that meet your standards. For example, you don't want to go to university for an Information Technology degree if their computers are 10 years old.

Apart from the equipment, there're factors such as how nice the buildings are, how fast the internet is, and if you have accessibility issues - to make sure they have the right facilities.

Know the facilities.

Know the facilities.

Learn things you cannot find on the internet

There are some things that you really must experience, things that cannot be found on the internet. The culture and feel of the place may be different to everyone so you should visit to understand how the campus is structured, both academically and socially.

If you ever take a guided tour, you will probably have a university student guiding you who will give you firsthand experience of the university itself.

Other things like knowing how far it takes to walk from one building to another (let me tell you, it takes a really long time just to walk from one place to another on some campuses), the foods available on campus, etc. may also be important to you.

As a reason to socialise

Having a group of friends to go to these open days is also an opportunity to have fun and relax, to get away from year 12 even if just for a day. There are many events that are available on Open Days, with interactive displays and what not.

And really, who doesn't want a day off from year 12?

Open Days can be a fun and relaxing place to socialise.

Open Days can be a fun and relaxing place to socialise.

You can find the dates for all the university Open Days for 2016 here.

- Mark

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Asking for help and helping yourself

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Asking for help and helping yourself

When you get a SAC or a test back, what do you usually do? For many of you this is a time to look at your scores and to rejoice or despair. There's always the sharing of scores around the classroom and guessing who has the highest score. Very rarely do you look at the feedback given by the teacher first and digest that. Most of us want that immediate score to know how well we did. But I'm here to tell you that while the score may matter now, the feedback matters in the long run.

This involves knowing what to look for in feedback and asking for help when you need it. Seems easy right? But for many it's just too daunting to go to someone and admit that you have less than stellar scores.

Looking at feedback

The first thing you should do after many of you eagerly check your grades is to read the feedback thoroughly. Then you should look at the test itself, keeping in mind the feedback that they gave. Now you can see where you lost your marks.

After that, if you still are confused, then the teacher is your next best bet. They know the test, after all they're the one who marked it. Ask them a few questions like:

    • Why did I lose a mark here?
    • What needed to be improved overall?
    • What parts did I excel in?

Asking for specifics will help you know what to improve next time.

Asking for help

Now for many, that would be daunting enough, asking for feedback can be embarrassing for some people. But it’s something that you need to learn to do. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the smart kids in your class ask the most obvious questions? And they never seem to be embarrassed about it? It's because they want to clarify that every single morsel of information they receive is absolutely correct. So get into the habit of asking more questions.

Remember, asking for questions now and possibly feeling dumb is better than not knowing the question during the exam and getting a bad score that could have been easily avoided.

How about help outside of school?

So asking for help in your exams and tests is one thing, but asking for help with your friendships, relationships and everything in between is really hard sometimes. You might feel alone sometimes. And that you shouldn't ask for help.

Remember, it's okay to ask for help.

Find someone you trust, a family member, a friend, even a teacher and confide in them; sometimes that might be enough. But if it isn't, you can get their point of view, their wisdom and their knowledge.

If you feel like there is no one to talk to, services such as Kids Helpline are there for you when you feel like you have no one.

Everyone asks for help

All these people, the smart ones, your teachers, your parents, and everyone you know has asked for help. The most successful people needed others to help them succeed. Asking for help and knowing when to help yourself is one of the most important life skills to learn.

So it's best to start now, and never be afraid or ashamed, it's better to ask for help now, than to have wished you asked for it before.

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The Company You Keep

About, 14 of the 19 people that got on my school’s honour roll (ATARs of 90+) were from my friendship group. How did we manage that?

I endeavour to make decisions to try and set me up for the future which I am sure many other people are doing as well!

One of those decisions involved choosing the people I hung out with. I found that because I was consistently surrounded by a group that had a strong work ethic and good morals. The flow on effect of that was me taking steps towards what I wanted to achieve.

Here’s why you should be mindful of your company:

 

1.    They influence your success

There are a million and one quotes about how the company you keep influences your character, who you want to be etc. It’s a very shallow statement that you can’t really believe until you see the fruits of the seed. I’ll bring it back to the honour roll. 14 out of 19 people on the honour roll were the people I hung around with. Perhaps you can make your own judgement from that. Were or were they not key factors in influencing each other to achieve an ATAR over 90? If you look at the logic of it, it makes sense that how the company you keep could ultimately affect your future successes.

 

1.    Good company keeps you in line

There is always that one group in school who always stick together, drink, smoke, skip class and disturb the learning of others. They encourage each other to make poor life decisions without realizing the potential repercussions of their actions. Good company, the people that encourage you to aim higher are the ones that most likely won’t lead you astray. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women in the world said.

Positive progress is non-existent when hanging around bad company that promote negativity. Their thoughts and actions influence those who surround themselves with them. They may think it’s ‘cool’ but I personally, and many of my other friends never saw that as being ‘cool’ because we were way too preoccupied setting ourselves up for a prosperous future.

Good company isn’t only about those that are ‘smart with a good work ethic.’ It can be friends with lovely characters, personalities and outlooks on life. People who try their hardest and friends who have your back and stick with you through thick and thin. Those are the people you want to keep company with throughout VCE and ultimately, through life. If you surround yourself with happy, energetic and positive people the vibes that they give off will rub off on you. 

Can you change the people you hang out with?

You can. It’s difficult but you can. You may have to cut off unhealthy and toxic relationships such as those where you are being manipulated and people who are deceitful. That feeling of loneliness is often what leads us to purposely making wrong choices so we can feel accepted; so we can fit in to a group.

The first step is realising that changing the company you keep can have dramatic effects on your future. Once you realise that and you think you are in bad company then the next step is to withdraw from that negative group and start attempting to hang out with positive people. It may take a while because they may at first not accept you because of the person you were before but give it time and keep persisting. Focus on what you could gain out of it rather then complain about the emotional pain you’re putting yourself through.

 

It is honestly, never to late to make this decision. If your future really mattered to you then you would do whatever it takes to make sure that at the end of it all, you achieve what you want.

 

A good friend of mine, when he was in year 8, hung out with the wrong crowd when he was in year 8. Straight to his face I told him that, ‘you’re hanging with the wrong crowd, you’re better than this.’ I knew he was smart and had potential (which everyone does) but I knew this guy personally and I’ve seen on paper how great his test scores were when he put in effort. At this stage, he wasn’t doing anywhere near what he was capable of. I’m not even sure if he was passing with Cs but he didn’t seem to be doing great academically at all.

Thus changing the people he hung out with he was encouraged to study.Him and his friends still had a good time but they encouraged each other to work hard. They understood the principle, ‘you reap what you sow’ i.e. you get out what you put in. At the end of year 12, he managed to get into a course he was happy with.

Make your own conclusion about whether what this article says is justified. I’m only writing this because I firmly believe that a lot of people can benefit from what I and others have learnt through our years in high school.

In a classic way to finish off an article, here’s a quote by our one and only Will Smith.

 “You can tell how far in life you’ll go by the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with.”

Written by:

Himal

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The importance of having fun

So, now you're in Year 12. The importance of this year has been drilled into you by your teachers, by your parents, by your peers and even by yourself. You have a fear, a fear of falling behind, a fear that you haven't studied hard enough, a fear that you will not achieve what you truly are capable of. All because you didn't take VCE too seriously.

Your school gets guest speakers to talk about the importance of VCE. They get past students who excelled in VCE and those who regret not taking VCE seriously to come and talk about their experiences during that time. All of this has a big impact to the psyche of a Year 12 student. Many feel like that there can be no fun during Year 12 as it is the year where everything matters, where your performance is put to a ranking; your ATAR.

However, I'm here to tell you that having fun during Year 12 is an important part of excelling in your studies, that, although studying is important during this year, it isn't everything. I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't just skip out on parties or all social events in Year 12.

Why?

The importance of VCE lies heavily on many students' shoulders; they feel that if they do not work themselves half to death that their efforts have not been enough. This pressure placed on many students will no doubt help some achieve what they could not have thought possible. However, this pressure, more often than not, will help students burn out if they do not have fun.

Grades will drop, as they have expended all of their effort to work as hard as they can. This leads to the disheartening of many students and will consequently result in poorer performances than what they actually could have achieved, if only they had taken a break from studying and relaxed once in a while.

Many study tips will tell you that breaks are important, that the 5 minute break in between intense study sessions are integral to increasing how much you will learn and retain information. The same goes for going to parties, having fun with friends and just goofing off in general.

Now I'm not saying that you should be partying and having fun more than studying, but I'm stressing the importance of letting loose and having fun once in a while. If you manage to set good study habits then you will have more time for fun. Seriously.

Regrets

Too often we have regrets. Regrets for not studying, regrets for not taking an opportunity, etc. The same goes with all the social events that you choose to not go to because 'you needed to study'. There have been countless times where students who did nothing but study have later admitted that they regretted skipping out on social events throughout the year. 

So with all that in mind, you have to remember that Year 12 is temporary, it's only one year. No matter how hard you study or how hard you didn’t study, this too shall pass. It is not the be all, end all of your life. 

So please, let loose, have fun and don't let the pressure of Year 12 stop you from doing what you want to do.

This post was written by Mark.

 

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HOW TO: Deal with a Break-up

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HOW TO: Deal with a Break-up

If you’ve just gone through a break-up (especially your first one), and are feeling quite low, you aren’t alone! Many highschool students experience break-ups at some point, usually due to not being able to juggle the demands of academics, extra-curriculars, and a relationship. They especially become frequent nearer to stressful time frames such as exams. Quite often, break-ups are accompanied by a wave of anger, some confusion, and a hint of jealousy or betrayal. It is also easy to lose your motivation and inspiration to do daily activities such as school work or even getting out of bed.

Probably the hardest thing about breaking up is answering this question afterwards: “What do i do now?”. Though it is quite normal to feel down for a short period of time, it is most important to not dwell on these emotions too much as they can hinder you from achieving your goals. After my first break-up, I felt like a big chunk of myself went empty because I had no idea what I could do to replace the time that I would have usually spent with my ex-boyfriend. A good friend of mine shared a few tips with me on how to deal with my confused and mopey self. Below are a few of them that might help you!

1. Share your feelings!!! It may sound obvious, but this coping mechanism is usually overlooked. You may find that sharing your feelings with someone you trust - especially someone who recognizes or can even relate to what you’re going through - helps you feel better. It could encompass anything from a good old rage n’ rant session with a friend, to crying on the shoulder of a family member, or even just writing your feelings out on paper and reading it later. Talking and writing are communicative media that give you the freedom to express and explore yourself, while gaining an understanding of why you feel the way you do!

2. Don’t be afraid to cry. Seriously. Let’s face it… break-ups can be hard, and releasing some of those pent up raw emotions can really help. There’s absolutely no shame in crying now and then. Personally, I’m not a big fan of crying. But during my post-breakup phase, I had a few good cries either with friends, family, or by myself. You’ll find that you feel a lot lighter after you’re done and that you’re able to think more clearly about the tasks you have planned ahead.

3. Keep yourself busy Whether you did the breaking up or you were on the receiving end, it can be difficult and even irritating to try and keep yourself from being stuck in a state of “I don’t want to / I don’t have the energy to do anything anymore.” BUT, it is important to remember that all the time that has suddenly freed up could be put to great use! Take up a new hobby, redecorate your room, learn a sport or instrument and hopefully develop a passion for whatever it is you choose to do, along the way :). It doesn’t mean that you should forget about what happened - it simply means that you should focus on other things as well so that you don’t lose your work drive.

4. Give yourself the time and love you deserve <3. Although a broken heart can be really stressful, especially during school, make sure you don’t break the rest of yourself as well. Try to get lots of sleep, stick to a healthy food plan, and incorporate exercises into your day to minimize the impact of the negative emotions on you. You’ll also find that it will give your self-esteem a boost so that your day doesn’t seem as daunting. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to give yourself time for the sadness to go away. How long it will take, I can’t say. That depends on what caused the sadness in the first place, how emotionally involved you were, and how you decide to deal with it. Getting over a breakup can take anywhere from days, to weeks, or even months, and that’s okay :).

REMEMBER: Be patient with your mind and your heart, and let the healing begin

Article written by ~

Mathuranga Sivakumar

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YEAR 7: A starter pack

Ah. Year 7 is a time of naivety, wide-eyed innocence and growth.

 

To our year 7 friends who have just begun a 6-year journey, the team and I have a few words for you, you and you! 

1.   Say 'Hi' to the person sitting next to you!  

As someone who used to be afraid of putting her hand up in class, I am too familiar with nervousness, anxiousness and butterflies.

However, it is important to remember that the girl or boy sitting next to you are just as nervous as you are! 

Both of you guys would be thinking "How do I say Hi?" Tossing up between that understated 'Hey' or Hello. It’s okay, don’t overthink it!

If you are super outgoing, be the first one to spark up a conversation! Just because someone is shy does not mean they don't wish to talk to you! 

2.   If you see a classmate sitting alone during class, recess or lunchtime, invite them to join you! 

I remember how all it took was for me to say "Hey *her name*! Want to play cards with us?" (Funnily enough, we didn't play cards. We just hanged out.) 6 years later from that spur of the moment 'Hello', we are still great friends! 

3.   Be brave.

I know it can be hard sometimes, being in a completely foreign environment. (Everything is so different; snack time is now known as 'recess', the chairs and tables feel rather uncomfortable, the Year 12s look too big and rather scary.) I can assure you Year 12s are not scary, they are just tall. You should know that it takes time for you to get used to your new environment.

You should also know that you can make your opportunities.

Set yourself up with goals and aspirations!

Work towards them, slowly but surely, you will reach it. 

Find a smidgen of braveness and dash of boldness. It will grow eventually, just like you! Take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way. 

So, things like table-tennis, volleyball, footy, soccer team! If you want to give a go or you're a seasoned pro, sign up with your friends! 

Audition for the school production!

If you have a budding passion for helping others and creating change, talk to your Year level co-ordinator about available leadership positions! 

Learn a new instrument you've always envisioned yourself playing!

You want to sing like Beyonce? Speak to your music teacher. 

You can do it! 

 

4.   Be kind. 

Teasing or making fun of other classmates for one's entertainment is absolutely unacceptable. 

BEING MEAN IS  

So, if you do see a friend, a classmate being teased or treated in a manner you wouldn't want to be treated, stand up for him or her. Alternatively, you can speak to your teachers about it. 

 

Some wisdom from the Team:

Himal says "Don't take year 7 too seriously, make friends and mess around a bit." (within reason)

Anna would like you to know this: 

"Try out everything your school has to offer (like any clubs, production, music, academic competitions etc.), just make the most of it while you have the time."

Mark says "Don't be afraid, make friends, mess around and have fun - and try not to think about what everyone thinks is cool, just do what you want”.

Amanda would like to say this: 

5.   You're a brilliant ray of sunshine, with so much potential to learn and offer. So, show everyone how golden you are, ok? 

Written by: Amanda ♡

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