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Forums / Young people / vent: loss of motivation in HSC year

Topic: vent: loss of motivation in HSC year

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Abi_555
    Abi_555 avatar
    7 posts
    21 August 2021

    For the last few years I've gradually been loosing motivation to any school work, homework and I hardly study for exams. Now that I'm in year 12 and currently sitting trials, I realize how bad it has gotten.

    I've been expressing to friends and family that I have lost all motivation but it's getting worse and worse and every strategy that I try to cope with this doesn't work. My lack of motivation is so overpowering that I feel like I'm just watching my life go by but I can't do anything.

    I have so many things that I want to achieve, I know which uni course I want to do and I have so many goals in life but I feel so unmotivated to do anything constructive to achieve the future I want, I feel like I'm stuck in a downward spiral.

    I started off highschool so well, I was getting high marks in everything but now I'm getting around 60% in all my classes (no one knows), which is a big drop and every day I get more and more anxious that I'm not going to be able to get into my uni course.

    I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder earlier this year as well and I think my anxiety is making this even worse because I'm stuck between my fear of failing and my lack of motivation.

    All I want to do each day is just sleep in bed. I can't be bothered to take showers, brush my teeth, eat, go outside but at the same time everyone thinks I've got my life together.

    A few years ago, I couldn't see myself living to year 12 and now that I made it to year 12, I have no academic motivation and feel like I'm ruining my future.

    I don't want to let my family down but pressure from them or teachers is not enough to get me motivated like it used to. It's like I don't care anymore but I obviously still do.

    I don't know what I can do to regain motivation. I've been waiting for it come back but it doesn't seem it is. I'm worried I'll be like this for years.

    Has anyone had or is having a similar experience? How were you able to regain motivation?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6157 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Abi_555
    Hey Abi_555 Thank you for sharing this with us today on the forums. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need. We think this is certainly something a lot of people in high school and even uni might be able to relate to. Going through year 12 is hard enough as it is, and doing this with an anxiety disorder is even tougher. It might be a really good idea to try and see a psychologist or get some kind of mental health support to help you with these feelings. Feeling unmotivated is really hard If you are interested, we would also recommend getting in touch with an organisation called Headspace. Headspace is an organisation specifically for young people aged 12-25 and they offer a wide range of services including group programs which are a great opportunity to meet people. They also have a group chat on their webpage. If you would like some help finding mental health support, or would just like to talk some of these feelings through with a counsellor we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website:  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. 

    There is also the Reachout Forum which is a youth forum for people age 25 and under that you might like to check out as well. In the meantime I also thought I would link some of our articles below that you might like to read through if you haven’t already. One is on anxiety management strategies and the other one is about the journey of someone who at one point felt hopeless” 
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1550 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Abi_555

    Hi Abi 555,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Sorry you have been feeling this way.

    I understand anxiety I had severe anxiety OCD and have now recovered thanks to the help of health professionals….

    Have you been given any strategies for your panic disorder and general anxiety disorder?

    It must be difficult to be doing year 12 and trying to cope with these disorders….

    There is hope that you will recover , believe you will get better….

    I believe you just need some help to help you recover, do you see a psychologist regularly?

    Have you been able to speak to your parents about the way you are feeling?

    here to chat

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Sophia16
    Community Champion
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    Sophia16 avatar
    169 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Abi_555

    Hey Abi,

    I am really sorry that you have to do your HSC during these hard times. I was just lucky enough to finish my exams before the Pandemic. I hope you are doing okay.

    One thing I learnt in year 12 was that motivation comes from within us and not from anyone else. People may inspire us to do certain things but it will still be up to us to do it at the end of the day.

    Inspire yourself. Be your own motivation. Envision yourself at the end of the finish line, smiling, happy, and very much proud of what you have accomplished.

    Just remember that you will be getting bonus points and concessions since you have to go through all this hard work during a worldwide pandemic.

    Also, if you do not end up getting the ATAR you want, there are many options to get into the course you love. Early entry, TAFE, college, etc.

    Your ATAR does not determine you. You are going to do amazing.

    Hope this helps.

    4 people found this helpful
  5. cabbagebus
    cabbagebus avatar
    18 posts
    21 August 2021 in reply to Abi_555

    Hi Abi,

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing because it sounds like things are really hard right now. Year 12 is difficult and good job for sticking through it. No matter what happens – you already made it so far and you should feel really proud of yourself for that. I think, even though the future is important, there’s nothing more important than the present and your mental health. Please remember to be kind to yourself – your happiness matters more than any mark or score.

    It must be hard to go through year 12 with anxiety and it sounds like day-to-day life is also pretty tough right now. I think based on what you wrote there are more things going on than just burnout/exhaustion, but I felt a similar way to you in year 12 (last year) and trying to take a proper break is something that (though it didn't fix everything) brought some relief.

    I’m not sure how it works in your state, but I think that you should just focus on getting through trials and then take some time to not do any study at all after that (if there's some time after). For me, I stopped studying for a while (two weeks) in year 12 a bit before final exams and eventually your motivation does start to come back. I guess when I got closer to final exams, I felt better and tried to think less about the mark and just doing the best I could.

    It’s kind of hard to explain so sorry if what I wrote doesn’t really make sense.

    I think even when you aren’t studying if you feel guilty or stressed or under pressure for not doing it, you still end up just as exhausted anyway (even though you aren’t doing work). I think even if you only take few days off just to not think about anything (and let yourself not feel guilty – like really commit, like “I’m not doing anything for the next few days and I’m letting myself") and just do something you like (or do nothing at all) it could help. Even if you feel like you don’t have time…

    Also I feel like there's pressure in year 12 to be studying ALL the time and it's just not realistic. So don't feel bad. Anyway...

    Like I said before, it seems like burnout/stress/exhaustion aren’t the only things going on and it might help to talk to a psychologist if you haven’t and if you can.

    I think at the end of the day, you can’t do more than your best! Your mental health is really the most important thing. Whatever happens, it will be okay and you’re almost at the end! Good job!!

    Good luck and I really hope you feel a bit better soon,
    cabbagebus :)

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Abi_555
    Abi_555 avatar
    7 posts
    23 August 2021 in reply to Petal22

    thank you for your message :)

    I've been seeing a psychologist regularly for the last couple of years and I have been able to talk to a parent about how I'm feeling but I haven't been given many useful strategies and sometimes I feel like I'm not taken seriously when I try to explain how I feel. :/

  7. Abi_555
    Abi_555 avatar
    7 posts
    23 August 2021 in reply to Sophia16

    thank you for your message :)

    very true, motivation comes from within, I'm just having trouble finding it .... :/

    thank you for your comforting reminder!

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Abi_555
    Abi_555 avatar
    7 posts
    23 August 2021 in reply to cabbagebus

    thank you so much for your comforting message :)

    It's great to hear from someone who went through year 12 last year.

    I guess I didn't really consider taking a break might help, thank you! I'll give that a go.

    thanks again, I really appreciate your message

  9. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1550 posts
    24 August 2021 in reply to Abi_555

    Hi Abi 555,

    Thank you for your reply…..

    Thats great you have been able to talk to a parent about the way you are feeling and a psychologist……. I’m sorry though that you feel as though you are not being taken seriously…….. if your current psychologist isn’t helping you then how would you feel about seeing a new psychologist?

    Has the parent you have been able to talk to been understanding and understand what you are going through? If you feel they don’t really understand would you find it helpful to write a letter to the parent really out lining the way you feel? Maybe the parent could accompany you to a psychologist appointment or gp appointment and help you explain the way you are feeling and let them know you need some help…….

    Has the parent noticed any changes in you ? Maybe you could both go to see your gp together to discuss changes they have noticed and that you have noticed ….. I’m saying this because when I wasn’t well I took some one with me to a gp appointment so this person could state to the gp changes they had seen in me…….. eg I wasn’t eating a lot, I’d lost alot of weight, worried a lot……..

    if things aren’t going that great in school at the moment in regards to marks that’s ok….. just give yourself permission to look after yourself and really get the professional help you need……

    I highly recommend you go back to your gp and really outline to them the way you are feeling……. Even if you have to write it down and read off the list…… don’t leave their room until you feel heard…. Maybe while you are seeing your gp you could ask for a referral to a different psychologist let the gp know your current psychologist isn’t really helping you….

    please chat to me any time

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Sasquatchion
    Sasquatchion  avatar
    15 posts
    25 August 2021

    Hi Abi_555,

    It's been a few years since I was in highschool, but I'm now in my 20s and studying secondary education at university. I am no where near finished my degree, nor am I experienced enough in a classroom setting to give you any actual advice from a teacher's perspective... but I have been a student! A rather lousy student at that. Even now I struggle to motivate myself in my university studies. It happens.

    Your year 12 results, or any result really, that you achieve in high school matters in the grand scheme of your life. If you got good marks in year 8, but now they're worse in year 12. So what? I very much promise you that year 12 is nothing to stress over. While it may seem like the be-all end-all right now, I seriously am promising you that nothing bad is going to happen to you if you don't do as well on an exam.

    I have a friend who completely flunked their year 12 studies. Completely botched our final exams and didn't get the ATAR they wanted. You know what that person is doing right now? Studying medicine at a fantastic university.

    Just take it one day at a time. If you don't feel motivated to study for two hours, just study for 10 or 20 minutes. Break up your study into little chunks and you might find it easier to motivate yourself for the shorter periods of time. You might even find you remember more by studying this way!

    But I can absolutely promise you that you ARE NOT ruining your future. You can do or be anything or anyone you want to be. Thanks for sharing your story. :)


    Sasquatchion :-)

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Pecan
    Pecan  avatar
    1 posts
    13 September 2021 in reply to Sasquatchion

    Yeah, even studying for a few minutes can snowball into longer study peroids over time.

  12. chadicha
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    chadicha avatar
    44 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to Abi_555

    Hey Abi, as someone who sat HSC last year and lost motivation during my last few years of school I completely understand where your at. It feels like family, friends, teachers expect you to perform at the level they know your capable of, but sometimes when you go through life and are growing, facing challenges even internally, it's not possible to do so, and this is perfectly OKAY. You are a human and your so much more important than your marks and grades. You can always get into your dream course in life, in fact uni's want more students than less and if there is a will there is a way. Even though I didn't achieve the results I knew I was capable of achieving, I knew my mental health would have taken the biggest hit if I tried to make myself do really well. I burnt out and experienced such high amounts of pressure which caused chronic stress, my relationships to take a hit and series of depression. Looking back now, I wish I realised I was more important as a human and my wellbeing than anything I wanted to set out to do. And even though yes, all of these external goals are important to me, I'm not going to achieve them if I'm dragging myself to do so. Your so young and nothing you do now is gonna mess your life up, if anything a different path will get you right on track to where your meant to be. Being unmotivated sometimes doesn't mean your lousy or not good enough or failing, your so smart and amazing, it just means you need to take some time for yourself and listen to what you body's trying to tell you whether thats to focus more on your personal life, your mental, spiritual health etc. Life is so much more than expectations and pressure, its how you experience it, not what grades you get or degree you get into. Take things at your own pace. You would be much happier if you healed and become more rejuvenated rather than psyching yourself up too much just to get in now when it wouldn't make much difference to do it a year later. Even if you do have the goal to get into your dream course now, don't stress yourself too much because trust me its all going to work out perfectly in your favour. You'll look back on this time one day and wished you were easier on yourself just like I did.

    And another thing, don't take life too seriously, take yourself and your health and joy seriously.

    3 people found this helpful
  13. JulieS101
    JulieS101 avatar
    7 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to Abi_555
    Hey, I am going through the same thing. I used to be very motivated by Covid,family issues and anxiety and depression has totally depleted any motivation I used to have. Have you applied for any early entry’s that will consider year 11 work. Your hard work whether it’s from the last or not should be validated and considered when you apply. Also the ATAR is a test of privilege that starts from kindergarten and discriminates against those with mental health issues and tricky family lives. Your mark won’t define you.
    2 people found this helpful
  14. Banksy92
    Community Champion
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    Banksy92 avatar
    150 posts
    24 September 2021

    Hi Abbi,

    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for sharing your story.

    There is so much pressure on us in our final year of school and I think a lot of people feel overwhelmed by it all. I honestly think they put too much pressure on us to make big life decisions at such an early age. When I was in year 12 I was stressed out of my mind and felt competitive with my friends to do well. It's funny how a few years later you can look back and see it was blown out of proportion.

    That being said, the way you're feeling doesn't sound good and if you have goals you want to achieve you should definitely go for it. What types of things have you been doing to try and get back on track?

    You mentioned you had a diagnosis, have you been seeing anyone like a councillor or psychologist to help you manage your symptoms? This can be really helpful. It might even be worth talking to your teachers as well to try and get some special consideration for your circumstances. It's been an incredibly difficult couple of years for students with lockdowns etc. I'm sure they are open to the conversation.

    Also keep in mind that even if you're experiencing a difficult time right now, know that your grades for this year will not define you or limit your options after school. There are lots of pathways to reach your goals.

    Hope this helps

    1 person found this helpful

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