#VicSRCvoices: Finding the balance

Demi Tangri is a VCE student who's asking the question: how do we avoid burnout and keep our social life intact? Luckily for us, she has some answers.

Finding the balance

Being a student who goes to school in the City, I often find myself in the hallowed halls of the Melbourne State Library after school. The need to do some actual studying has intensified over the years; now, sitting right here in Year 11, I want to utilise absolutely every second of my time properly during VCE. I believe we all want to make sure we leave no stone unturned, no book unread, no resource unused. Just saying that sends shivers down my spine! How can we make sure we spend our time effectively and make the most out of these 2 years without burning out and keeping our social life intact?

Tip 1: Cut ourselves some slack

Remember that we are human. This may sound silly, but sometimes it’s necessary to jog our memories. All of us can make mistakes, but the only real mistake you make is when you choose to stop trying.

Tip 2: Organise!

Stay on top of everything - FROM DAY 1! If you think that making notes the night before a SAC will get you through the day; it probably will. But, will it get you through the week? The next SAC? The Exam? The chances are low. Instead, make notes as you study new chapters, annotate, leave post-it notes on questions you didn’t understand. Go the extra mile, take that one extra step. In the end, it may not be as “extra” as it seemed.

Tip 3: Regular communication with Family and Friends!

Not only will you find that your family is actually quite cool, it’s also helpful to recount your day and think about what happened. If at home you find that you cannot remember something you did in maths, or a new concept you were still sketchy about in chemistry, you can then go and revise it! It’ll take hardly 10 minutes, and you will have solidified your knowledge.

Tip 4: Have a hobby

Have something else to do other than studying. Play a sport, play an instrument, draw, paint, sew, go on a run, walk the neighbour’s dog, colour, do yoga. The list is endless! Do something for your peace of mind, something for a release from studying. After doing a fun, relaxing activity, you will feel like it is time to get some productive work done, and you will concentrate more. Or vice versa, after doing some work - say one hour - you will have something to look forward to; whether this be a walk, or a snack to munch on, or a quick jog around the house! This way you can ensure that you are productively and effectively engaging in your studies, rather than hunching over a book for the whole day.

Tip 5: Limit time on technology

As cliche and motherly as this sounds, going on phones wastes too much of our precious time. Checking Instagram every half an hour has become a habit, replying on Snapchat has become a reflex, constantly messaging and Facebook have become the usual. In such an environment, it becomes very hard to concentrate on less entertaining things, like Algebra and the Periodic Table. So, try putting your notifications on silent. Take away the vibrate, the lock screen banners, the sounds, the alerts. Only check your phone once every hour, and limit this time to under 10 minutes.

Finally, if at the end of all that you have some energy left, remember to have fun!


#VicSRCvoices is a rolling series driven by the stories and experiences of student representatives. It’s about who we are; what we value; what drives us to act; and what fuels our passions to advocate for what we believe in.

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