The end of 2019 and the start of 2020 has certainly been a difficult time.
Drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19 has put everyone under stress and strain.
Imagine throwing in the Higher School Certificate as well.
It's a scenario thousands of local students are facing.
And it's not just the year 12 students who are preparing for their final exams, it's also the year 11 students who are starting their journey towards their HSC efforts next year, now undertaking many of their assessments.
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On top of the strain of the actual HSC itself, they have had to deal with, like all students have, the challenge of schooling from home.
And while students are now all back at school, it has certainly been a challenging time, especially for those senior students as they make their final push towards completing 13 years of education.
Nowra High School has again come up with a HSC survival kit for its year 12 students, as they head into their final couple of months of schooling.
Principal Glenn Kingsley said the school wasvery mindful that the next few months for year 12 may well be very stressful as they approach their HSC.
"With the additional stress that bushfires, floods and now the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought, the need for support for our students is even greater in 2020," he said.
"With that in mind, we have again put together the HSC survival kit for every student in the year."
The enclosed booklet contains personal letters from the principal and both year advisors, study techniques and useful apps, and phone numbers if a student needs to seek help.
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"There is also a section on wellbeing, with strategies for coping with stress and anxiety, some positive affirmations and a few word searches and colouring sheets for the much needed down time when revision can become all too consuming," Mr Kingsley said.
Also included in the pack are some stationery items, lollies, tea, hot chocolate, a handball (the school sport), tissues, a stress ball, and some bubbles to blow as a temporary calming distraction from their studies.
The students were also given their reports, trial exam timetables and a letter they wrote to their year 12 self-way back in year 7.
"Understandably, there has been increased stress and disruption (particularly to our year 11 and 12 students) but as a school we have a strong wellbeing network for our students, facilitating access to both in-school and external support pathways," Mr Kingsley said.
"School staff have worked incredibly hard to support students both academically online and with any wellbeing issues that have been encountered."
The school's wellbeing team includes deputy principals, a headteacher wellbeing, year advisors, counsellors, Aboriginal education officer, Defence school mentor, learning support and support teachers, the careers advisor, chaplain and school learning support officer, who all have strong skillsets and can identify need and the best source of support for those who require it.
Outside agencies like Headspace, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Anglicare and the Police and Community Youth Club (PCYC) have also been accessed to assist students.
"As a school, we work collaboratively with parents and carers to ensure the best wellbeing outcomes for all students in need of support," Mr Kingsley said.
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As the seriousness of COVID-19 emerged it was predicted the post-pandemic concerns would be of a wellbeing nature and Mr Kingsley said, as expected, there had been a rise in wellbeing referrals since students returned full time to school.
"Despite this, we are constantly amazed at the resilience our students have shown in the face of adversity, as they support each other and carry on regardless of the difficulties and stresses they have experienced this year," he said.
"Our HSC survival kit reinforces our support for students in year 12.
"We hope this small token of support reminds all students that we care and are here to support them as much as we can in the run up to their exams.
"We wish all of year 12 the best of luck in their upcoming exams and hope this small token will help make the upcoming months just a little more bearable."
The school thanks SSPAN (Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network), Headspace, the University of Wollongong, Kmart Nowra, Officeworks and Woolworths Nowra for their generous support with the program.