Over 450 Auckland high school students showed up for workshops held by their fellow pupils to learn how to minimise exam stress.
The lunchtime workshops, held at Rangitoto College and Albany Senior High School, were put on for Year 11-13 students by Hearing Everyday Youth (HEY), also known as the Upper Harbour Youth Caucus. Activities included games, prizes and a ‘meditation station’ where students could take a timeout from their busy study schedule.
Upper Harbour Youth Caucus chairperson Bismah Mahmood says that with NCEA exams approaching this is one of the most stressful times of the year for high school students.
“It was the last week of school, so everything was really hectic and you could tell that students were getting a little bit stressed out. We just wanted to give them a place and time to relax.”
In a 2016 survey commissioned by Youthline, stress was deemed to be the most pressing issue facing young people. Mahmood, who is a Year 12 student at Rangitoto College, says that it’s a concern she’s had to learn to deal with herself.
“When I stress out, I can't think properly. I find that I won't do well in whatever I'm doing. Even simple things I won't be doing properly. When I take my time and properly de-stress, I find that I get a much better outcome and I spend less time actually doing the work at hand.”
The Youth Caucus also used the workshops as an opportunity to get input from students about other issues they’re facing at the moment. Key concerns that were raised included mental health and parental pressure to do well at school.
Youthline youth worker Stevie Hamiora, who helped to facilitate the workshops, says that it was a great opportunity to reach many new young people who needed help.
“This caucus is filled with unique wonderful young people who are very in touch with the community and purpose to empower other young people in their community. We look forward to many more successful events to come.”
Join us throughout November on the Youthline blog, where we’ll be exploring some healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety, and taking a look at what students can do to keep calm during exams.