How Winter Managed Her Anxiety and Exam Stress During the HSC

🧠 Learned coping strategies and places for support

Winter discovered places she could reach out to for support that could help her manage her mental health.

🎉 Received Early Entry to ACU for B. Nutrition Science

Winter received an early entry offer for a B. Nutrition Science at the Australian Catholic University.

🧘 Relieved exam stress and anxiety

Winter learned how to apply for special provisions in the HSC which helped ease exam stress.

The Challenge

Winter had a busy schedule during the HSC with  commitments to dance that led to her feeling overwhelmed as she tried to balance it with her studies. Her high expectations and fear of failure also contributed to pressure in performing well, which saw her marks and her mental health decline. Winter wasn’t receiving any extra support and knew that if she was to fulfil her potential, she needed to take control of her mental health and implement a manageable study routine.

I went through a really bad stage with mental health and anxiety during the HSC. I was scared about the unknown with exams, and I had all of this pressure and fear of failing because I felt like I was letting everyone down if I didn’t live up to my own standards.

Key Problems

📚 Winter wasn’t coping with the anxiety that schoolwork and exams generated

⚖️ Winter didn’t know how to manage her time to balance her extracurricular activities with her HSC study

🗣 Winter hadn’t asked for help at school and therefore her marks were suffering

Our Approach

For Winter, the most important focus was reducing her stress and anxiety surrounding the HSC. Her mentor, Sarah, recognised that in order to achieve good marks, Winter would first have to implement strategies to help her manage her mental health.

This consisted of finding an organisation to receive mental health support and communicating her struggles with the school so they implement adjustments that could ease her stress and anxiety. In doing so, Winter could begin to feel more confident when approaching schoolwork and assessments.

Focus

  • Support for mental health
  • Accomodations at school
  • Easing exam stress and anxiety
  • Time management

Strategies

  • Researching organisations
  • Applying for special provisions
  • Liaising with teachers
  • Time blocking tasks

Researching Support Organisations

Special Provisions

Liasing with teachers

Time Blocking

The Result

Winter’s mental health improved significantly after working with her mentor to find the right support. By communicating her stresses to her school, Winter was able to receive special provisions and ease the stress of exams and assessments.

Winter’s story showcases how managing your mental health is important to making it through the HSC happy and healthy!

80%

Reduced stress and anxiety around exams

93%

Gained confidence navigating the HSC

100%

Identified and applied for university opportunities

100%

Improved balance and wellbeing during Year 12

With the Pathfinder program, Winter successfully reduced her exam stress and anxiety

I had an amazing experience with my mentor Sarah Dagg. She was not just my mentor but a friend who guided me through my ups and downs in my last year of school. She pushed me to limits I didn’t know I could go and to achieve goals I never thought I could achieve.

Helping high school students thrive since 2009

We know school isn’t just about getting the grades, it’s about staying happy, healthy and answering the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?”

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