Relax, chill out, then stress
The South Waikato’s high school students are now well and truly into their end of year exams and for many that means elevated stress levels.
Tokoroa High School head girl Tiare Manu and 2017 head girl Lahaina Solomon said anxiety was high amongst their peers and they felt it was important students worked out plans to manage.
For Lahaina that means studying only at night and chilling during the day.
‘‘It is about finding what works for you, don’t go mainstream, just find something that suits you,’’ she said.
Tiare said for her it means not letting the normal things she enjoys be pushed aside.
‘‘When it’s study time that is when I can stress but other than that I need to keep acting like everything’s normal, go to things like sports training and keep my mind off things,’’ she said.
Lahaina said it was also important for students to speak out if they were finding things too much or work in groups.
‘‘I went to a study group and two of the boys had this thing where they had food in their books. If they read a certain amount of pages they could eat it and it really worked. Junk food always helps,’’ she laughed.
‘‘Definitely bounce ideas off of each other.’’
Tiare said those under the most stress hadn’t focused throughout the year but she said it wasn’t too late.
‘‘You didn’t sacrifice earlier in the year so just sacrifice your time now. You can [then] go back to your normal ways,’’ she said.
‘‘I know a lot of us have two papers for each exam so see what paper you think you will be best at and work hard on that one,’’ Lahaina said.
She reminded those who will fail that it is ‘‘not the end of the world’’ and to use it as motivation to get better.
‘‘If you are only in year 11 or 12 use it to help you get through next year, use it to help you to want to be better,’’ she said.
Forest View High School counsellor Gaylene Hughes said the nature of National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) has meant student stress has been vastly alleviated from what it once was.
‘‘Stress is a part of life but I think NCEA and schools are well positioned to prepare students for exams through constant internal assessment,’’ she said.