There is a way to manage stress!
How to Take Care of Your Well-Being Before High School Graduation and School Enrollment
Stress accompanies us in many situations, especially those that significantly affect our future. For students, the closest event is the matriculation exam, followed immediately by the choice of the field of study to which they will devote the next years of study. Proven techniques for coping with stress and a rational approach to important decisions can be helpful in a time of many challenges before and after the exam.
Maturity exams, like every year, will start just after the May weekend. Therefore, these are the last days to revise the material, and above all, to rest before such a great mental effort. Often, however, stress makes it impossible to think of anything else, and any attempt to rest either ends in failure or increases the tension even further. The experts supporting the ADAMED SmartUP program have prepared some tips that can help you focus and calm down before exams.
The anti-stress technique of mindful breathing may seem a bit trivial. Nevertheless, it is recommended as the fastest way to deal with accumulated emotions. One of the most popular methods is “breath on 4”, which involves taking in air for a count of 4, then holding the air in your lungs for the same instant and releasing it at the same rate. . This technique can be used immediately before a stressful situation, for example before entering an examination room.
Before the speeches, we can often hear the advice of our relatives: “imagine that your audience is naked”. This is one of the anti-stress techniques called visualization. Of course, imagining a naked audience can help some people, for example before public speaking, but this method can also be used in other ways. Taking advantage of the May weekend before graduation, it is worth spending about 15 minutes before going to bed to exercise to close your eyes and imagine a perfect place for mental relaxation. For some it will be a garden at Grandma’s, for others it will be a tropical beach. All places that evoke pleasant smells, sounds, visualize colors, will bring relaxation. After the exercise, you need to stretch and think that it is possible to return to these places at any time.
It is worth knowing the basic techniques of relaxation, but in the process of working with stress you also need preventive action. Therefore, especially during the exam period, you should not forget to eat healthy, plan your time, exercise and reward yourself. – emphasizes Dr. Alicja Gniewek, psychologist and trainer cooperating with the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Warsaw.
Important choices with another dose of stress
The end of the stressful high school graduation marathon is also the starting point for the next stage, that is to say university studies. This, on the other hand, is related to new dilemmas, which also lead to stress. One of them is recruitment, that is, choosing your dream field of study. It is not easy for high school graduates, because in universities there are more and more original courses that narrow popular disciplines, but often discourage them with foreign-sounding names. It turns out, however, that it is not worth following the name of the field of study, but mainly the subjects taken into account in the process of admission to study and the characteristics of the graduate, which indicates, among other things , where you can find a job after defending your thesis.
Universities offer dozens of possible courses and you absolutely should not limit your choice to their names. For example, if you were particularly keen on chemistry in high school, that doesn’t mean you should study a subject of the same name. The offer of related studies includes, for example, biochemistry, technical studies or those combining chemistry with management sciences. You should look at the topics covered in the course and the job prospects after completing the course. This will reduce stress and fears “will I be able to handle this?” – advises Anna Kotańska, 4th year chemistry student at Oxford University, ADAMED SmartUP scholar.
A negative recruitment decision should not be considered a failure and it is certainly not a reason to panic. Typically, each high school graduate will choose at least two different majors, so if both applications are accepted, once the student has made a final decision, one spot will be freed up each time. It is therefore not certain in advance that there will be no other chance in the second, third round or additional recruitment. Some universities complete their last recruitments at the beginning of October, so the period of additional registrations can be an opportunity to rethink and become familiar with the richness of the universities’ offer. Stress is not a good advisor, so the extra time you take after a break from your graduation session may allow you to make a more rational choice.
If you are looking for practical advice related to recruitment for studies and entering university life, we invite you to listen to the Podcast “Ready, study!”. This is a series of interviews with ADAMED SmartUP graduates who have begun studies at prestigious universities in the country and abroad. Our graduates share their experiences and give practical advice. You can find the podcast on the ADAMED SmartUP YouTube channel and on streaming platforms, including Spotify.
Uncertainty and fear in the face of war
The sources of stress for this year’s high school graduates are not only the exam itself, then the preparation for studies, but also fears related to the war conflict in a neighboring country. The new information we receive every day causes fear in some, panic in others and remorse in others. Such emotions often block the ability to focus on daily tasks, including studying before high school graduation. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that giving up the current life is not a rational solution.
It’s perfectly normal as adults to be interested in what’s going on around us – we don’t live in a vacuum. The war and the pandemic before are subjects that come up constantly in the media. However, we decide how much of our inner space we dedicate to going through messages that contain an emotional charge and evoke too much of a mixed feeling in us. The continuous tracking of information can cause us to lose the strength to face our lives. During global crises, it is worth considering what we are actually impacting. By showing empathy, we help and we want to do good. This is great because helping gives you a sense of agency. However, after such moments, we can look back on our lives to take care of ourselves. The exam and the Matura studies are a reality to which young adults want to devote their time and their own energy. And it’s good that we try to function normally in our own micro-world, because we have only real influence over it. – says psychologist and psychotherapist Monika Perkowska, who works with adolescents and young adults in the psychotherapeutic clinic “What’s up?” in Warsaw.
If all you think about is war, consider spending too much time watching the news. Also remember that there is more and more fake news on the internet, so try to choose only certain sources of information and check them before sharing anything online.
The baccalaureate period is one of the most stressful times in education. Many adults still cite this period as one of the most difficult times in life. Let us remember that the high school leaving exam is also an exciting new beginning – the next stage of education, but also the longest vacation in life. After May 23, high school and high school students will have a well-deserved rest.
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