With the academic year in full swing, thousands of matriculants across the country will be preparing for one of the most important years of their schooling career. Marking the end of your high school journey and the start of your future, being a matriculant amidst a pandemic can be quite daunting.


While some students may be excited and ready to complete their final year, others may feel anxious and overwhelmed by the pressure. If you feel like you may be struggling to get into the academic mindset, here are a few tips to help you prepare for success.


Keep calm and breathe


It may sound cheesy but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying to keep calm and taking a deep breath in and out can help a lot. Keep your head above water and try not to let the pressure of your final year affect you.


Studies have shown that following simple breathing techniques can help relieve tension and bring calmness. By taking intentional slow deep breaths, your body will be able to enter a state of relaxation.


Revise and study


The year may have just started but revising your work and creating a study time table can help you in the long run. While it may seem like the obvious thing to do, being well prepared whether it’s for an exam or a subject you may be having trouble with can help lessen the load and decrease the chances of feeling anxious.


By revising and planning, you’ll also be able to dedicate more time to work you may not have understood the first time. The key to revision and studying is to ensure that it’s productive. Whether you study visually or verbally, finding a suitable studying and revision technique eliminates the possibility of last-minute cramming and procrastination.


Take care of your well-being


Having a good night’s rest is incredibly important when looking after your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to several negative symptoms such as depression, anxiety, lack of concentration and memory problems.


Getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep can help keep your mind sharp, well-rested and calm nerves.


Talk to someone you can trust


There’s no doubt that preparing for your matric academic year can be stressful. The constant pressure to succeed in assignments, mock exams and end of year exams can take a toll on one’s mental and physical well-being.


All of this pressure and anxiety can eventually build up and leave you feeling mentally and physically drained. 


A really good way to alleviate some of this pent up anxiety is to talk to someone you trust. Whether it’s a family member or a peer, they may understand and empathise with your situation. Expressing how you feel can help you find focus, determination and some relief.


If you or someone you know at school may be struggling with academic depression and anxiety please contact the SADAG at 0800 70 80 90.

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