At the atmospheric Refectory in the Holmes Building at the University of Sydney, students and their parents heard from performance coach and former IGS parent Derek Leddie of Collective Mind.
“The HSC is an endurance test,” Derek said, explaining how they could all lift their potential simply by accepting that “it is what it is” and getting on with “working efficiently”.
Complaining, avoidance, worry and trying to please others was likely to drain their energy.
“Worrying is nothing more than using our imagination in a negative way and catastrophising,” he said.
“It doesn’t get us anywhere.”
Instead, it was important to take time out, to let off stress regularly through enjoyable activities, and to be honest about working productively.
More could be achieved in one productive hour, for example, than by working distractedly for four hours.
It was also important for students and their parents to come to an agreement about the best ways parents could offer support, rather than arguing or coming into conflict.
IGS alumna, Medical student and surf life saver Dina Vassilevska (2009) shared aspects of her own career journey, advising students to stay involved in activities they would remember, such as ArtsFest and clubs, and to build strong relationships with their peers and teachers.
“Be passionate about your subjects and believe that your efficient work will pay off,” she said.
“I still struggle to get assignments done early, but it helps you. Help one another. Be non-judgmental, and make sure you use a lot of the support around you. IGS offers a lot of support.
“You’d be surprised how many people are here to help you. Don’t be shy to ask.
“Sleeping is really important. Your health is more important than your grades.
“More than 50 per cent of our happiness is determined by the things you do every day.
“Keep your goal in mind, but realise that there are so many ways to get there.”
Students also heard from Class of 2018 alumni who have just finished their HSC.
Flinders Twartz: Break things into small tasks. Keep in touch with your teachers.
Claire Thom: You only do your HSC once, so you might as well do your best.
Sapphire Goldberg: Remind your parents you’re grateful for their support.