Congratulations if you're in year 12 you've finished (or nearly finished).

You should be really proud of your efforts and achievements in getting this far. I distinctly remember being in your situation a couple of years ago...The only problem was I had to wait 6 days after my friends finished to complete my final exam...Ouch! Stick with it if you're in this situation... Not long to go!

This year has gone so quick and for many of you, you are now experiencing the just reward and exhilaration from your new found freedom. ...And to this I say...For goodness sakes...Please, please, please be careful!

Each and every school year I worry about what might happen to the students who have just graduated...

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Our identity forms a huge part of who we are. Without an identity, our mere existence would be at stake. A person’s identity is comprised of the characteristics they have that distinguish them from others. Our identities are inevitably shaped by fixed factors such as gender, culture and religion. They are also shaped by the groups to which we belong, the people we associate with and the surroundings we grow up in. As we journey through childhood and reach our adolescent years, the need for us to question our sense of identity intensifies, thus leading us to further explore ourselves. However, in our modern society, survival without belonging to a group can be highly demanding. For exam...

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Stress is a word that means different things to different people. The word stress is commonly used as a vague, all encompassing negative mental state. However, to be clear there are actually two different forms of stress. Eustress represents the required stimulus humans need for constructive growth and development physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Distress on the other hand represents a destructive force either physically, mentally, or emotionally. As an example, if you wanted to lift weights in the gym in order to build muscles you are required to stimulate your body beyond its' comfort zone in order to achieve growth. This is an example of eustress. However, go too hard and you can cau...

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Thinking back to my student days (for the historians amongst us I completed my equivalent of the vce in 1988), I can vividly remember some lessons I learnt the hard way, some I intuitively stumbled through and some I learnt through the bad examples of others. For example, have you ever seen anyone race frantically into an exam two hours late because they slept in after being up cramming late the night before?. I have!

Since my days of formally being a student, I have become fascinated by sleep and its role in human performance. Coupled with my research into the anatomy and physiology of sleep I have come to the conclusion that sleep deprivation is one of the surest ways to reduce cognition (...

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Schools broken up (or just about to) and whilst it can be a time of great excitement for many, it can also be a time of great anxiety and stress. Most schools have counsellors that you can still talk to but sometimes students needs additional support services that are outside of the school environment.

The following support services are free and confidential (plus if you call from a landline they don't appear on a phone bill).

Kids help line or call 1800 55 1800

Lifeline (counselling) or call 13 11 14

Suicide helpline or call 1300 651 251

Griefline (counselling) 9596 7799

Directline (drug & alcohol) 1800 888 236

Family drug help (& alcohol) 1300 660 068

And for families & friends

Centres against sexu...

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I was sent a link yesterday to a brand new website resource for helping young adults with depression and anxiety called youth beyond blue . It has been developed by the good people at beyond blue to help adults and young adults deal identify the signs of depression and anxiety and help them get the help they really need.

According to the website:

Depression doesn’t just cause young people to feel sad or down, and anxiety doesn’t just make people worry. Teenagers can express depression and anxiety in many different ways. They may:

  • Have trouble falling or staying asleep, or complain of restless, unsatisfying sleep

  • Be tired, grumpy, irritable, tearful or upset most of the time

  • Feel restl...

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If you ask 10 different people what they think "Success" is you're bound to get 10 different responses. Some people would say having enough money to pay the mortgage, others would say being healthy or happy, another may say making a sporting team. Success is different to every single person and is very much dependant upon what your goals or vision/mission are.

I bet though if you ask 10 different vce students they would probably all have the same similarly themed response regarding a particular grade, a high mark or even an enter score. Is this the case in your life as a vce student? An interesting observation I have made while speaking at over 50 vce student workshops over the last few years...

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A while ago I watched an interesting documentary called SuperSize Me. In the movie, director Morgan Spurlock, decides to do a macabre experiment whereby he ate nothing but McDonalds for a whole month. Now some of you who love the taste of a Big Mac may be saying how cool but before you reach for the fries and coke I implore you to check out the movie.

It raises some interesting social and health issues which I encourage you to explore.

There is no doubt that the pace of modern life is increasing. It has been estimated that by the time a child reaches 6th grade they have been exposed to more information than their grandparents were in their entire lifetime. With the pace increasing we have unfo...

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Breakfast is the one meal that a lot of students ask me about. It seems that for a lot of people it is difficult to come up with a tasty, healthy breakfast that will give them the start they need to get going every day.

According to a 1998 u.S gallup survey about 14 percent of students surveyed didn't eat breakfast at all. Other research suggests that these figures climb throughout adolescence, reaching about 33 percent by early adulthood. This is despite studies which clearly show that people who start the day with breakfast wind up eating fewer overall calories, less saturated fat and cholesterol, and have better overall nutritional status than people who skip breakfast.

Breakfast eaters hav...

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Meditation is a wonderful method of helping the entire mind and body to relax. Vce students who are able to meditate will be at a distinct advantage during their sac's and vce exams. Through a system of breathing exercises the body naturally feels the stress being released and for many students it allows them to be much more open and receptive. Meditation can also aid in helping with memory, energy and focus.

When a person feels relaxed the ability to both memorise functions much better. Through the use of breathing and concentration the ability to recall information is enhanced significantly. Remember the last time you forgot someone's name or their birthday? It was probably during a period ...

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