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Lesson 27: After Exams

Exams are finally over! You’ve got a few months to wait before results are released. This can be a really stressful period because you don’t know whether you will be proclaimed Laureate or not and there’s nothing you can do about it, except wait. Most students spend every day constantly thinking about results day. Unfortunately, this can be quite destructive to your mental health. In a perfect world, during the months between your exams and results day,

You would let yourself forget everything about them and live a well-deserved stress-free life.

However, the world is not perfect, and we can’t all just let go of the constant feeling of dread associated with waiting for results to be released. Fortunately, it is within your power to ensure that you don’t let this bother you too much. While it is ultimately up to you to decide how you want to spend the time between your HSC exams and results day, here is an (obviously not exhaustive) list of suggestions you might find helpful:

Suggestion 1

Perform a throughout evaluation of your mental health. Very few people come out of HSC exams without experiencing some sort of mental health issues. They can range from the mildest/more subtle symptoms to the more serious ones. If you think you’ve got no mental health issues, think again! We often neglect the importance of mental health because we simply don’t talk enough about it. So, we find it hard or almost impossible to identify our own psychological issues. Therefore, I recommend you learn a bit more about mental health on your own and then perform an in-depth evaluation of how healthy you are, mentally. Here are two places you can start from:

Suggestion 2

Perform a throughout assessment of your physical health. Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you look healthy? Do you look too fat or too skinny compared to how you looked a few months before? If yes, then it’s time to start taking better care of your physical health. Try to pay more attention to your nutrition, physical activity and sleep.

Suggestion 3

Take a well-deserved break and have fun. Your mind and body need to rest to recover from the arduous journey of completing the HSC. You no longer have your studies to worry about, so feel free to indulge in things that bring you joy. However, be careful not to engage in too much self-indulgence. You still want to maintain some sort of discipline in your life. HSC was just one chapter. You’ve still got a long way to go. So,

Don’t completely lose your discipline after the exams.

What would happen to that marathon runner if he/she stops running and starts eating junk food every day after the race is over? This will cause a lot of harm, right?

Suggestion 4

Spend more time with family and friends. Spending time with them significantly contributes to your overall happiness and reduce stress. Many students tend to think that becoming a Laureate will automatically make them happy and that all their worries will magically disappear. To be honest, I used to think that way too! However, here’s what actually happens:

Suggestion 5

Perform in-depth self-reflection. Do you have enough time to reflect on yourself when you are studying every day to become a Laureate? Probably not! So, use the time you have on your hand to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture in your life. Pause to ask yourself who you are and what is your purpose in life. Ask yourself where you want to be in 5 years. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. What are the most important life lessons you learnt from your HSC experience? Find such questions and try to answer them.

Suggestion 6

Find something you are passionate about. Try new things. Everybody is unique and has his/her own passions. Find a new hobby or go back to an old one you enjoyed. This will help you keep your mind busy, therefore keeping you distracted from thinking about results.

Suggestion 7

You could use this time to start thinking about your career, whether you want to become an employee or an entrepreneur. Invest your time in personal development. This is a lifelong process aimed at improving your skills and attributes. Working on your personal development is key to achieving your goals and maximising your full potential. Skills such as communication, teamwork, emotional intelligence, conflict management and adaptability are essential if you want to succeed in the workplace. Try learning/refining some hard skills as well. For example, learn how to code! Moreover, learn how to write CVs and Cover Letters. Set up your LinkedIn profile, if you haven’t done so already. Start learning how to tackle interview questions because you’ll likely be doing lots of them sooner rather than later. Look into job aptitude tests as well!

Suggestion 8

Get a part-time job or start a small business if you want to. You don’t have to wait till you get your results to try and get some work experience. On one hand, this will give you the opportunity to start developing valuable new skills right now. On the other hand, working will take your mind off the exam results! If you think less about them, you’ll obviously worry less about them!

Suggestion 9

You could also get involved with an NGO and do some community service. By doing so, you will be making a positive impact on your society. This will also look good in your university applications, should you choose to include them. Many top universities seek to develop a vibrant student community. So, you’ll make a good impression when you show that you genuinely care for your community.

Suggestion 10

Not all students wish to attend university after school. However, if you want to, you should be aware that many universities have deadlines regarding applications. So, make sure you are aware of those deadlines and that you are meeting them. The focus of the next and final topic is University Applications. So, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered!

To sum up, assuming you don’t intend to go for a third year, I recommend you move on with your life after your exams are over. HSC was one chapter. This chapter is now closed. Start the new one with a bang!

So, the Key Takeaway is:

Close the chapter!

Do you have any questions or comments? Post them below!

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