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Forums / Young people / Year 12 is killing me

Topic: Year 12 is killing me

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. It’s me
    It’s me avatar
    3 posts
    13 October 2021

    Hi guys, it's been a while since I added a thread but I really need some help.

    I'm a year 12 student so I've got the HSC coming up and it is insane. I can't do any work because it's so overwhelming that I don't know where to start, but then I hate myself for not doing any work and my work accumulates which makes me more overwhelmed. To add to this, we are coming out of lockdown so everybody is socialising and having fun which reminds me of how alone I am because I don't get invited. Similarly, lots of people are discussing getting invited to formals and buying dresses which is another thing I can't relate to, making me feel even more isolated.

    It may be less than a month until the HSC but this is the most writing I have done in a long time. I haven't been eating at all (I don't have an eating disorder but I just forget and can't be bothered to get anything) and I haven't been getting to sleep until very late, then waking up around now (12pm). I know school is almost over and I should be able to get past these couple of months but it isn't shaping up too well for me. Not to mention the fact that I want to be a doctor which requires an insanely high ATAR and is super competitive. I've been told by lots of people that if I can't handle year 12 then there's no way I will survive med school which is another worry for me because that's all I really want to do.

    I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed, stressed and depressed. If anybody has any tips or motivation please let me know. Also, feel free to add your experiences of final exams to get some help too and make each other feel less alone.

    Thanks for listening!

  2. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    163 posts
    13 October 2021 in reply to It’s me

    Hi there,

    I finished my HSC last year, and I understand the stress. I understand the cycle of not getting work done because of stress, then the stress getting worse because it piles up and you aren't sure where to begin.

    I think the most important focus for you right now is self care and your mental health. You mentioned that you aren't sleeping at normal times or eating, and that you've been feeling overwhelmed and depressed. No one can expect you to perform and get things done when you're going through this, so please be patient with yourself as best as possible.. This is especially challenging during lockdown, and I'm not sure if you're a year 12 student doing everything from home, but that is incredibly tough.

    Please make the small steps to look after yourself and your mental health, whether it be reminding yourself to eat every few hours and drink enough water, going for a walk, doing the things you enjoy. If you're comfortable, how would you feel about reaching out to one of your teachers to talk about how you're feeling?

    As you said, you still have time to prepare for your exams. Start small and write some to do lists for each subject so you have a plan for what you need to do, and cross things off day by day. Taking the time to actually know what you need to get done is super helpful, even more so than forcing yourself to sit down and do the actual work.

    Doing year 12 from home for me left me very overwhelmed and depressed, to the point where I nearly gave up. If you don't get the marks you need for the course you want, that's okay. There will always be a way to get to where you need to be, believe me. Even if it's not the typical route or the one that you expect. As I mentioned, the expectation to get a 96 atar while doing everything on your own is insane, all the while experiencing depression, isolation, all the things that come with lockdown.

    I relied on early offers to get into the course I wanted and SRS, but I prepared myself by making a backup plan if I didn't get the marks I wanted (ie. what TAFE courses or pathways I could do to get into uni). It brought me a lot of peace of mind so I didn't feel my marks were the "be all and end all", and I found I could study more easily without that intense pressure.

    Year 12 is so hard. Please be proud of yourself for making it this far. You're doing the best you can for right now, and that's okay. Be patient with yourself and take care of yourself, that's the most important thing.


    2 people found this helpful
  3. It’s me
    It’s me avatar
    3 posts
    13 October 2021 in reply to Isabella_
    Thank you so much for this message. I am in Sydney so I have been in lockdown for about 100 days with all the expectations of studying without any of the normal break time off. I come from a family that really values academic success (to the extent that my parents still talk about their ATARs, my aunt/uncles, my cousins, my siblings, etc). I have been offered an early entry position which comforted me a bit but it's not in the field that I would like to pursue so there's still a lot of pressure for success. I wouldn't really know where to start taking care of myself.
  4. jaz28
    Community Champion
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    jaz28 avatar
    462 posts
    13 October 2021 in reply to It’s me

    Hi there,

    i finished school back in 2018 and I found that I was getting really burnt out by the end. I feel like this is what you’re going through. It will get better.

    you may consider speaking to a school counsellor or seeing your GP about seeing a professional to help you manage your stress and time management. However I think this is normal when you reach the end of year 12.

    just keep pushing through and don’t hesitate to seek help until you need it. A well deserved break is coming up. You’re so close.

    stay motivated,


    1 person found this helpful
  5. chadicha
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    chadicha avatar
    43 posts
    22 October 2021

    Hey! Isabella has some really great advice and when she says that 'there will always be a way to get you where you need to be', she is spot on!

    Reading your post is crazy, as I was in your exact same position last year! I am also aiming to get into medical school and am in my first year of pre-med (thanks to early entry), yet last year I feared I wouldn't get the right ATAR. I put way too much pressure on myself I couldn't even bring myself to study and when I did it was rarely effective. I had to focus on my mental health and even then I felt bad for it. But please, if I can assure you anything at will make it. Whatever route this is, even if you get early entry into an exercise science course then transfer into a medical degree the after the first semester of uni (I know people who have done this just by having 'good' grades) Don't lose hope! And please, don't see yourself any less if you can't study. Your wellbeing is far greater than the opinions of others, or how fast you get into a medical degree.

    You also don't have to stress at all about getting into medical school straight away, so many people begin med school in their middle-age after they've gained world experience, are more confident in themselves and feel capable to endure the rigours of it all. Some get in by UCAT at17! So please, its your own journey -never compare yourself to anyone else either, you'll get in when its right time for you.

    DO NOT listen to anyone who tells you if you can't survive year 12, you can't do medical school. Year 12 you & medical school you are going to be two different people. You would have grown, left the hard pressures of school, studied at your own pace and begun to thrive! I'm not the same me as I was last year when I was doing HSC. People that told me this & put so much pressure on me, worsened my self doubts. Please, believe in yourself, your ability & your calling. Your going to make It, prove so many people wrong, & most importantly embark on a journey you love.

    Becoming a doctor is a beautiful calling, but if it is truly in your heart, a way will always be paved out for you, no matter the perceived obstacles or if your not the 'smartest', or 'academically fit' all the time. We need more well-rounded, authentic doctors who understand your not limited by your grades. year 12 is a difficult time, so understandably your mental health will impact on your grades!

    I believe in you, because I used to be you! Your going to do amazing, stress less :)

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Guest_2503
    Guest_2503 avatar
    17 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to It’s me

    Hi, I totally understand where you're coming from, I'm also a year 12 HSC student and the stress definitely gets to me too.

    Just know that there are so many alternate pathways to doing what you want to do. I've spoken to lots of Uni students and all of them tell me that those who want to do Med will always find a way. Just keep up your WAM in uni and you can transfer easily. I read that you already have an uni offer- that's amazing news and a huge achievement already! You can easily transfer into med after your first year. ATARs really don't matter in the long run. My family is similar to yours, I plan on not telling them my ATAR as I also have early entry :)

    Don't feel the pressure to socialise. Most of this socialising means nothing anyways. Plus, formals arent all they're cracked up to be (see my formal thread for an absolute trainwreck).

    All the best and good luck! You'll do fine!

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