Hey all. This post might be a little messy as I'm currently very stressed and had my second mental breakdown today.
I'm considered to be one of the top students in my Year 12 cohort by both my peers and teachers; not the dux, but certainly up there. However, my school isn't exactly a smart school so in comparison to the whole NSW, I'm probably not up there. Regardless, the expectations to achieve amazing HSC results from all classmates, teachers and parents are instilled into me. Because if you're near the top, it makes sense to achieve a good ATAR right?
Well, that's not happening to me at all. Since the HSC exams started, I had failed to perform my best during the external exams (with the exception of two subjects). I nearly vomited before one of them, affecting my ability to think properly in the first half (however I cooled down afterwards, so I had no reason to apply for illness form). Furthermore I've experienced sleeping problems, from not falling asleep straight away to waking up near 4am after nightmares of the HSC (happened last night as well). Not only did I fail to perform my best, I had let down my entire cohort too due to your overall cohort performance in external exams influencing everyone's HSC marks... I feel horrible knowing that I will be reason why my peers will fall short of their ATAR goals because silly me did terrible! So I have not only let myself down, but my classmates too.
In the past, I have attempted to open up about my HSC exam stress to others but again, I'm considered to be among the top. Thus, I usually receive responses along the lines of "You're doing well anyway!" or "People have it worse than you, some are actually failing their subjects!". Which is true, I know this. I know that many are struggling to pass their subjects, some have strict parents while others are going through tough times, like severe family issues. And I have tried to comfort myself with this, but didn't work. No matter what, I still feel stressed knowing that everyone is expecting me to do well.
It makes me feel like I'm an ungrateful kid complaining about first world problems, and that I have zero right to complain about the pressures of the HSC. As a result, I've repressed these emotions for the entirety of the HSC exam period and it's taken a toll on my mental health. Had few breakdowns, cried myself to sleep and I feel very alone in my stress with no one to talk to. Everyone I know has it worse.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.