Study-life balance in Year 12
In your final year of school, the workload given to you will likely feel daunting and excessive. You could feel like you are no longer getting enough free time to feel relaxed and stable throughout the year.
This is no reason to panic!!
Just because Year 12 involves lots of studying, SACs and assignments, doesn’t mean you have to study as much as possible and give up all your free time. In fact, giving yourself a break every now and then should be encouraged to make sure you get to the end reaching your goals in VCE!
It is important to balance your study time with life outside of study. Below are some pointers on how to keep your study-life balance throughout the final year:
Create a timetable.
When school life may seem too much to handle, your life will become messy. Therefore, it’s always good to organise your time to study effectively and to fit in activities outside of studying. A timetable of what subjects you study for and other commitments can keep your week structured so you can focus on each activity when they are scheduled. Making a timetable is not difficult at all, and there are many templates on the internet to get started.
If, after you make a timetable, you feel you cannot stick to it, filter around with it. You’re not always going to get your timetable right the first time! I remember having to change mine a few times before I became comfortable with it.
Give yourself a break and free time
Make sure you fit in some free time and study breaks in your timetable! Even if it may seem that working as much as possible is the best way to study, it rarely works for any student. Fitting in short breaks for every hour of study is commonly known to keep the mind from fatigue and stress when you study for long periods of time. Also, occasionally giving yourself some free time from study is essential to space yourself from it and avoid feeling exhausted from school.
In other words, it’s quality over quantity. Instead of trying to plan excessive amounts of study for the whole day, try planning a little less study in less time which gives you at least some free time every day. You’ll be surprised how productive you become when you work when you allow time in the day to not study.
Keep doing your extra-curricular activity
The first thing that may pop into your mind when thinking of doing an extra-curricular activity throughout year 12 is this: “There’s NO WAY I would have enough time to fit all the time required!”
Let me tell you: This is false on so many levels!
Often enough, students entering year 12 that already do an extra-curricular activity will quit for the year in order to make more time to study at home, with the thought that continuing will mean that they will not have enough time for their academic commitments. But if time is organised throughout the week, you may find that it is possible to fit in your activities.
Quitting means that the students will miss out on their favourite activity. Students will then often regret their decision to quit for the year. Of course, you will need to make more time to study for SACs and exams through your final year of school. That may mean missing out on one or two training sessions throughout the week (for example), but certainly not a whole year!
Keep doing the things you love (your hobbies)
Consider the following sentence:
Year 12 should not make you stop from doing the things you love doing. Instead, you will just be doing them less until you finish your last exam.
Therefore, it is important to yourself to keep being happy throughout the year by doing the things you love, including your hobbies and extra-curricular activities. Doing this will help you to keep sane as you study!
Of course, year 12 should mean a high commitment to study. But make sure there is a balance of how much time is spent studying and how much time is spent outside study.
Keep a consistent sleep cycle
Keeping a consistent sleep cycle is more much important than most students think! Many students fail to get enough sleep as well as going to bed the same time every night.
Make sure you go to bed at the same time every night before school and wake up every school morning, and make sure you get enough sleep! Doing this is great for having more energy and less stress throughout the day, which does wonders to your productivity during study time.
A good aim is 7-9 hours every night.
Learn to stop procrastinating
We all know how often we procrastinate. I procrastinated writing this article!
But actually take a little time to fight procrastination if you feel it is affecting your study. Put that phone away from your room, turn off the computer if you don’t need it. Study in a quiet and comfortable environment. Whatever it takes, try harder than you already do to remove all distractions to stop procrastinating.
Following these pointers should help create a study-life balance that suits you. This should make your year 12 life much easier and organised, while also studying hard and efficiently enough to get through the year and reach your VCE goals!
Good luck and enjoy the year!