In this article, Matrix graduate Ayushma shares how she overcame anxiety and self-doubt to ace the HSC!
In this article, Ayushma shares how she overcame anxiety and self-doubt to ace the HSC!
Pharmacy at the University of Sydney
I truly believe that my genuine interest in reading novels and writing journals made me do consistently well in English. This is because I enjoyed reading prescribed texts given and doing assessments such as writing critical responses and creative stories.
Reading books made me learn a lot about ourselves and helps us connect to the world.
English assignments are usually designed to get us thinking outside the box. This helped me stretch my imagination and think about texts in ways that causes me to connect them with real-world events.
I am really passionate about Science, especially Chemistry. Though there were times when I didn’t score well, I never gave up and always strove to give 100% which always helped me improve a lot.
Some of the reasons on why I enjoyed chemistry are:
Having interest in the particular subject does help you motivate yourself to work hard. However, to excel you need to have a strong mindset that says:
YES! YOU CAN ACHIEVE THAT MARK OR BAND 6!
Not just your interest or strong mindset is enough though !
It takes a lot of hard work , dedication and patience to get the results you want.
Here is few examples of what I did to maintain top rank
Also, because English is not my first language I used various sources such as grammarly and even had a vocabulary diary with sophisticated words. I also made sure to email my teacher my essays a lot. I had a really supportive teacher who replied to me as soon as possible .
I performed really badly in Year 11. Especially in the depth study as I had rushed it. It really affected my overall marks and ranking as the assessment is worth at least 30% of internal marks.
To ensure to not repeat the same mistakes again, in year 12 I…
Putting a lot of effort made me achieve Band 6!
In addition, for Chemistry it is crucial that you:
I struggled to do well in Mathematics throughout the year. It was not the matter of not understanding the concepts. It was more about making silly mistakes and being anxious.
When Year 12 started, I was so anxious and scared that I could not perform my best. Therefore, I had done terribly in the first assessment of Mathematics and Biology.
Maths requires a lot of practice. The more you practice the better you become.
For me, I always thought I couldn’t do Maths. My mindset in this subject affected my marks as well.
However, I had really good teacher and A GREAT MATHS TEACHER at Matrix.
I could share how anxious I feel to my teachers and they really helped me improve academically and mentally.
I encountered some pretty big obstacles in my pursuit of my ATAR goal — anxiety and self-doubt. This is what i did to cope!
Often mental health is taken very lightly. However, it is very important.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Throughout Year 12, I suffered from massive anxiety to a point where I used to vomit before exams.
It affected my marks a lot which was really hard to cope with because no matter how hard I had worked, I could not perform my level best.
Luckily I had really supportive teachers with whom I could share my situation. I also visited counsellors who gave me tips for mindfulness.
Given how I went through this, I really want to encourage future Year 12 students and every other student in high school to seek help if you are going through this! You don’t have to do this alone!
Below is a table that explains my coping strategies for some of the different anxiety triggers I dealt with:
|How having anxiety made me feel||How it affected me||How I bounced back and overcame this|
|Overwhelmed||Increased my levels of procrastination as I was running away from school work because I felt||Meditation|
|Scared to sit exams||Made me vomit before exams leading me to underperform|
|Avoided hearing how much my friends studied before entering the exam hall|
Listened to my favourite music
Made sure i maintained a good diet
|Stressed all the time||Made me not enjoy even the fun stuff||Exercise|
I used to doubt my capabilities a lot of times. Especially when I didn’t get the marks I wanted.
However, I beat my doubts by just working hard.
In the beginning, my ranking for biology was triple digits! However, I didn’t give up and kept on working. At the end of the year, my rank was Top 5!
I used to compare myself with the best students in my school which made me feel that I was not doing well. It really lowered my self-confidence and made me not work hard.
I overcame this by reading non-fiction books. There are really good motivational books that you can find in your local library which motivate you and encourage you to think positively!
Here are the tips I used to stay ahead in my subjects!
Lots of books have glossary pages at the end. I used to use this and actually memorise them. I used to choose 5 words every day and revise them.
This is because it helped me know lots of scientific terms that were very useful for me to use while writing experimental reports, answering short answer questions, long responses.
I did the same thing for English where I had lists of similes, metaphors and sophisticated words.
I booked lots of workshops so that I could go over all the difficult concepts I didn’t understand. Matrix tutors are really helpful and you can ask them any questions. Don’t hesitate to ask some questions because you think them to be stupid. No questions are stupid.
I asked teachers to help me more in their free time. I used to ask my Matrix teachers if I could see them after class for help. I had really supportive and nice teachers who were happy to do so. You can even email them if they are busy.
To stay focused I used apps such as Flora and Forest to stop myself from being distracted by my phone.
There is also an option called downtime on the iPhone which does something similar.
I also liked to study in the park sometimes as it helped me concentrate and stay focused
Lot of students choose certain subjects because they scale high, or maybe because of parental pressure. However, I truly believe that you should choose subject that genuinely interests you.
I chose physics because it scaled pretty good. However, later I realised that I really struggle to understand the concepts, and it started taking a lot of my study time.
It is very important to manage your time properly. I was not able to do so a lot of times that made me feel even more stressed out.
Let’s be honest, many of us do not take mental health seriously and do not realise how much it actually impacts our daily lives.
Therefore, if you don’t feel right, talk to your friends, family and seek help immediately!
I wish I spent more time with friends as I had completely cut them off during Year 11 and Year 12. These two years are the last years of high school. So, spend some time with your friends as well as your books.
Instead, get outside and away from your desk: