Asking yourself whether the HSC will ever end? Feel like you’ve already tried your best and you don’t really want to try at all anymore???
You’re not alone, former Year 12 student and member of the Pathfinder Program Katelyn faced terrible burnout during the HSC… Literally!
Not only did Katelyn have to face the overwhelming workload of the HSC during COVID-19, but her rural area was also affected by the NSW bushfires!
“I actually went too hard at the start of the HSC. I wanted to do everything above and beyond. This meant that after the bushfires hit I was in such a bad state at school because I was tired, burnt out, and my marks just weren’t the same.”
Luckily, Katelyn’s mentor Kathy was able to show her the ropes and teach her some awesome techniques to deal with HSC burnout!
“By joining the Pathfinder Program I was kind of fished out of a dark hole as I learnt how to properly manage my time.”
So what is Katelyn’s advice for other students who are facing fatigue and a lack of motivation during the HSC?
Tip #1: Take time to Rejuvenate Yourself
Katelyn’s mentor Kathy advised her to do one important thing: TAKE A BREAK
“During the first holidays, I took a week or two to myself. I feel like it was such a benefit to have a period of time to not think about the HSC at all. It’s like clearing your mind”
It can be really difficult to find some me-time during the HSC. Teachers are demanding, and you always have the expectation that you should be studying all the time.
However, the summer holidays between Term 1 and 2 can be the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a break without sacrificing too much of your learning.
In fact, we even recommend you take these two weeks off in our official Summer Holiday Study Plan!
This is to make sure you don’t over-study and hit a wall when you reach week 4 or 5 of the next term.
Want to learn how to balance study and taking a break during the summer holidays? Find out in this article.
Tip #2: How Much Should You Really Study???
Katelyn found that a massive reason for her burnout was the fact that she rushed into studying for large amounts of hours too quickly.
She had heard so much about recommended study hours from other people that she thought as soon as Year 12 started she needed to up her game immediately. As she explains, this is a dangerous mindset.
“If you’re like me and didn’t study much before the HSC, it can feel like a massive wall of work has just hit you which can kill motivation.”
As Katelyn’s mentor advised her, you don’t have to automatically try and match other students’ study times. Take it at your own pace and ease into the ideal study hours you’d like to reach.
If you’re just learning to surf you wouldn’t go straight for the biggest, largest waves, right?
You’d start off small and then build your way up. The same goes for study, if you dive in too fast you’ll burnout quick!
Tip #3: How to Avoid Burnout During Exams
“Once the HSC Exams got closer, I found that I had way more time up my sleeves. I had to update my timetable to something that was more suitable and my mentor Kathy pointed me in the right direction!”
One key thing Katelyn learned was that you need to allocate time evenly to all of your exams.
“I had four exams in the first 3 days of the HSC. This made it hard to prioritise my later exams during the time period. “
The problem is, if you study too much for your first exams you’ll be totally burnt out by the time you need to study for your later ones!
You’ll also realise: “Oh s&*t! I haven’t done enough study for my other exams!”
So remember, don’t study for your first exam first. While you might feel pressure to work on what’s most urgent you need to spread your time smartly and evenly.
Tip #4: The Psychology of HSC Burnout
Katelyn went through a period of super-low motivation. She felt like no matter how hard she tried her schoolwork was just getting worse and worse.
She brought this up with her mentor Kathy who explained that this was all because of HSC burnout.
Since Katelyn had studied way too hard in Year 11 and at the very start of Year 12, she was super tired and worn down. This meant that she had a false sense of stagnation.
The repetition and monotony of the workload made her feel like she wasn’t making any progress!
“If this happens to you it’s important that you know it’s all in your head. Your mind is just tricking you into thinking you’re doing a lot worse then you are.”
This is how a lack of motivation can come about. So remember, make sure to take regular breaks to put things into perspective.
Struggling With HSC Burnout?
Get a mentor like Katelyn’s to help you develop a personalised study plan in The Pathfinder Program!
Learn more or get started with an inspirational Pathfinder Mentor and get in touch today!