READY: Lismore’s Trinity College HSC students, from left, Jack Lowbridge of Lismore, Alys Taylor of Lillian Rocks and Isabelle Burke of Suffolk Park, all aged 18 years.
READY: Lismore’s Trinity College HSC students, from left, Jack Lowbridge of Lismore, Alys Taylor of Lillian Rocks and Isabelle Burke of Suffolk Park, all aged 18 years. Patrick Gorbunovs

Coping with pressure

WHETHER it's Australian Bush Flower Essences or a daily session at the gym, Northern Rivers students are finding ways to deal with stress in the lead up to their first HSC exam on Monday.

Trinity High School students Isabelle Burke, Jack Lowbridge and Alys Taylor were preparing for exams yesterday and said they weren't feeling too nervous.

"You do all the prep you can. When you're in the exam you just know every word you put down counts," Ms Burke, 18, of Suffolk Park said.

They believe that adrenaline will work in their favour in coming exams.

None of the three are following a particular study diet but all agree that they are going to eat well on the day of exams to give them the energy they need.

"It's hard to find downtime when there's so much going on," Ms Burke said.

Ms Taylor, 18, of Lillian Rocks, takes a productive approach to the socialising dilemma by organising study sessions with friends.

"A couple of my friends and I do the same subjects, so we hang out by studying together," she said.

But for Ms Burke, the HSC workload is slightly more daunting. Not only is she taking seven subjects, including extension English, she also lives out of home and works to support herself.

"It takes a lot longer to make dinner than you think," she said.

Ms Taylor treats study like a normal school day, with recess and lunch breaks.

Mr Lowbridge, 18, of Lismore said he treats it like an exam, studying for three hours at a time so he can get used to the format.

SUPER FOOD

Raw nuts

Wholegrain bread

Eggs

Low-fat yoghurt

Lean chicken, steak

Vegetables

Bananas

TIPS FOR PARENTS

Make sure your child eats breakfast

Support health snacking

Set a daily routine

Get active outdoors

Boost happiness

Encourage regular sleeping patterns

Include nutrient-rich protein foods.