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Exam De-stress event

With NZQA examinations right around the corner, The Upper Harbour Youth Council, the youth affiliate to Auckland Council’s Upper Harbour Local Board, will be hosting their annual De-stress event, targeted towards helping to relieve the stress-filled atmosphere during exam season. The Youth Council is made up of fifteen individuals, coming from schools across the Upper Harbour region, with their ages ranging from fourteen to eighteen years old. Having hosted the same event in 2018, the youth council has expanded their presence, from being in two high schools to now being in five schools this year.

According to a previous survey conducted by the Youth Council for the Upper Harbour region, surveying youth on the issues that mattered most to them, one of the most pressing matters is the overwhelming pressure students feel during the exam period. Various studies state that the pressure they feel often leads to sleep deprivation, anxiety among other negative factors that are detrimental to human health. In a bid to help students feel more relaxed during this period, the Youth Council decided to instead directly intervene, and create an event where students were able to take their minds off their studies, and take the necessary breaks to energise them during this crucial time.

Due to the widespread success of the event last year, with overwhelmingly positive feedback, the Youth Council knew that this event would be an annual event for the future. In 2018, the group went to Rangitoto College and Albany Senior High School, and in 2019, they will be heading off to Hobsonville Point Secondary School, Albany Senior High School, Westlake Girls, Takapuna Grammar, and Rangitoto College, for the week commencing from the 21st of October to the 25th of October respectively. By going into school grounds, the Youth Council can readily engage with students across the area, and see first hand what issues concern the youth, and help them with the struggles of exams.

The Youth Council’s goal is to go into high schools in the area and help fix the problem, by creating a calming environment that ‘de-stresses’ students. How they achieve this is by entering into schools during their respective lunchtimes, and providing soothing food and drink such as tea, biscuits etc, and playing relaxing music. In addition to this, prizes from different organisations where students are able to go to take breaks during study leave, such as Gongcha, Paradise Ice Skating, Krispy Kreme and Clip n’ Climb will also be provided. It is crucial for students to actively balance their studies and rests, and this event is targeted at students looking for an opportunity to unwind. The relaxed atmosphere that is created is an opportunity for students to participate in games and activities, such as colouring in, board games etc, provided by the Youth Council. Alongside the Youth Council, councillors from Youthline will also come in on each individual day to help and provide advice to any students who may be struggling, and provide a calming presence to the crowd, and create a holistic experience for the students.

In addition to this, the Youth Council also collects a survey from their events in order to collect data to see which areas they will focus their efforts on in 2020 and is a helpful method in seeing what the people actually want. With questions ranging from improvements they would like to see to the most enjoyable areas in the Upper Harbour, the Youth Council is able to get a glimpse into how they can better cater their efforts into affecting the people that really matter.

To get in contact with the Upper Harbour Youth Council, and see how you would be able to help and any suggestions you may have, please contact upperharbouryouth@gmail.com


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