Christmas - It's meant to be about family, sharing and a whole lot of food. It's a time for relaxing, when most of us have a bit of time off work or hopefully a few worry free days.
But not for everyone. Specifically I'm talking about high school students; the ones with exams anyway.
Getting piles of work dumped on you the minute you're meant to be winding down ready for the holiday season; and constantly being reminded that you're "working to a deadline" can all sort of put a dampener on the whole "holiday spirit" thing, huh? To top it off remember you're meant to be revising for those mock exams you've got once you start back at school. Oh but remember to keep the whole course in mind because the actual exams are just around the corner. It's a constant bombardment of notes and highlighters; and it's easy to lose yourself under the piles of essays and pressure.
I mean don't get me wrong, I know none of this is actually the teachers' fault. They didn't set the course outlines, or the exam dates, or even the entry requirements to your dream Uni. It's just one of those things, right? But it's hard to remember that when you feel like you're drowning under paper and predicted grades - it's a constant, suffocating pressure; when you know that if you don't do your best it could have serious repercussions on the rest of your education, and even life.
And I know there are worse positions to be in. That we're so fortunate to live in a country where we have free, universal access to an unbelievably good education is a privilege that not enough of us fully appreciate. But school has evolved into something not altogether pretty. The pressure that can, in so many circumstances come from the parents, leaves some teens feeling increasingly isolated and anxious as they desperately try to cling on to those A-grades.
So parents, you could do well to try and ease off on the pressure,and remind your teen or young adult that it's okay to take a break, or at least even be understanding if they tell you they feel stressed out and pressured. We may not have to deal with the same "real world" problems like your taxes and mortgages, but dealing with school pressure can be just as bad (if not worse) when you can feel the clock ticking down on you.
And if you're one of those students with exams and a mounting pile of work, try to ease off on the pressure you're putting yourself under. Remember mock exams are just that - mock; take a break, have a mince pie - the work will still be there waiting for you when you get back.