The HSC - It's coming!


After years of schooling, walking them to school, taking photos of their first day, celebrating their first ‘A’ and comforting them when a test doesn’t exactly go their way, it all comes down to this. The dreaded Higher School Certificate (HSC) in NSW, the highest education credential students can earn at secondary school. From research, it is in fact the most award school-completion credential one can gain in Australia.

It’s this time of year, when HSC is everything to some of our teenagers. It comes with a great deal of stress, endless pressure, sleepless nights and the onset of panic for the first time. For some teenagers, it’s the hardest thing they will have yet endured in their short lives. Combine it with normal issues faced by our teenagers, and you really have a recipe for a challenging couple of weeks ahead.

So how as parents can you support your teenagers as the school holidays start and the official exam dates arrive? We’ve compiled some tricks for you to help ween off the stress levels and some strategies to adjust to this stressful period, which can infiltrate the entire household.

Stay active

Exercise is actually an integral part of stress relieving and reducing panic. So encourage your Year 12 student to go for a walk between study, play basketball on Saturday mornings, take study breaks where they get outside and throw a ball around with friends. Physical activity can is vital at all ages, so make sure they are not glued to their computer and literally keep moving.

Get enough sleep

Healthy living should be a no brainer at this stage in teenager years. Your teenager needs to be receiving enough sleep to support their mental capability and help to eliminate stress levels. While at 16, 17 or 18 years of age it may be a bit difficult to give them a ‘bedtime,’ and perhaps suggest an hour before bed where they ‘switch off’ from devices so they can relax a bit.

Balanced Diet

Nutrition can do wonders for the brain. Regular healthy meals will fuel the brain and offer more productive training sessions. Not to mention if Biology is one of their key topics, help them learn more about what food does for their bodies. Preparing healthy snacks for the study breaks is one way you can help ensure their nutrition stays healthy. Think about how your ‘comfort food’ is healthy, after all, there’s nothing like a good home-cooked meal!

Stay positive

At school, teenagers are taught the importance of how the HSC will make or break their future careers. It’s essential that you keep your teenagers heads clear, and provide a healthy and realistic perspective. It’s okay to acknowledge that perhaps they wont get that 99.9%, but to keep them aiming high. To your teenager, it seems as though the whole world revolves around these exams. Avoid making ‘nothing-or-all’ statements, and remind them that they can only do their best.

Reduce their chores

Yes you read that right. The next 4-8 weeks are tough for all. So it’s important that the whole house helps them out during this time frame. It’s only temporary and remind the teen doing their HSC, that when it comes to their sibling’s time of exams, they will be repaying the favour. Reducing chores can also prevent feelings of being overwhelmed. After all, at the moment, the chore itself is study.

The HSC is horrible, unless you’re blessed with a ridiculously smart child who doesn’t stress out, which let’s face it, is extremely rare. Let them have this time, but be supportive. Encourage them to get outdoors, have a swim at the beach, and to still enjoy life a bit. It’s stressful, but these exam results are not the end of the world! Good luck parents.

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