I find it somewhat hard to swallow that the HSC exams are held during Mental Health Month. It’s one of the most significantly stressful times our students will go through, and there is great emphasis placed on those few hours of performance. It’s a narrow focus on one difficult aspect of what can be a fulfilling and meaningful life!
While it’s important to come to school and it’s nice to do well in exams (and I’m not just saying that because I have to), what’s more important is the person you are at the end of the process. The real value in school and exams is not the formulas you learn in Maths (Sorry, Mr Strecker) or the in depth analysis you might have done on the ‘Book Thief’ (Sorry, Mr Ramm). It’s what you learn about yourself and the world that you live in that are the life changing lessons. These challenges of end of year exams, standardised testing and HSC are all showing you that you CAN cope with stress, you DO have people who care for you and will help you, and that no difficult time will last forever. There is always a new day and a new opportunity to try again, learn something more, and be a stronger, richer person for having been through the challenge. We can be confident that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and is close to us through it all.
So, last week in Middle School and Senior College Chapel, we had a focus on positive mental health. We watched some great videos about seeing stress as your friend. We had a question panel to answer some tough questions, worked out who makes up our support networks and we collected over 300 suggestions of ways to manage stress well and look after your mental health.
I’ll be working with the art teachers and some students this Term to publish these ideas together with some awesome illustrations, so stay tuned for this fantastic resource coming soon!
In the meantime here are some ideas to help you enjoy that rich, full meaningful life of yours – and to pick you up and lift your focus when things get tough in one area.
For more ideas, or for help managing specific challenges, check out the “From the Counsellor” C-Hub page or come and see me.