There are few, if any, people who could say that they have not been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic in some way or another.
You may be isolated and lonely, struggling financially, missing loved ones because of travel restrictions, battling to help children learn from home, or a young one fearful of what the future holds.
Regardless of who you are or what may be your greatest concern the fact remains that the past 18 months have been rife with uncertainty and concern. And all these feelings can play havoc with our mental well being.
In fact 3345 callers sought support from Lifeline Australia on August 2, the highest volume of calls in the organisation's 58-year history, according to a recent release from Lifeline. Meanwhile, Beyond Blue has identified that more than 75 per cent of mental health issues occur before the age of 25.
My heart goes out to anyone who is struggling, but I especially want to give a call out to those who are in Year 12 and preparing for the HSC.
While these young people will work towards many different special goals in their life right now is, perhaps, their biggest milestone so far. The HSC wraps up 13 years of primary and secondary schooling, it is the stepping stone to adult life, it is usually a time for bonding with friends, making memories at graduation and formal events, and making decisions for the path your life will take.
Right now the journey is paved with uncertainty. The all-important exam has been moved to begin in early November, there is doubt about whether or not graduation celebrations will occur and those get-togethers with friends are off-limits for the moment.
This message won't change the circumstances of the moment, but hopefully it will put some perspective to their current concerns from the approach of viewing the glass half full.
The positive take aways:
- You are all in the same position - no-one is getting greater advantage than another.
- This is the perfect time to study a little more without the distraction of someone's 18th birthday party.
- We have made it through worrying times of the past that impacted many lives - world wars, Spanish flu, polio, the Aids epidemic and more - and we will make it through this.
- You can still make those plans for the future - the schoolies week away, 18th birthday celebration, university enrolment, Gap year and so on will simply take place at a different time.
- Year 12 is just the first big milestone - there is so much more ahead for you.
- Imagine the stories you can tell your grandchildren one day about how you managed life in your final year of secondary education in a strange time of lockdowns and restrictions.
Year 12, you've got this.
This is just a moment in time, not your life.
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