We have to ask: R U OK?

RUOK
Connect with someone you care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones. Credit: RUOK.org.au

September 12 is R U OK? Day, and we’re checking in.

We usually hit you with stories about inspiring STEM careers and study pathways, but on a day dedicated to supporting those struggling with life’s ups and down, we thought we’d check in and ask – R U OK? Particularly considering that young people are less likely than any other age group to seek professional help when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

Whether you’re mid-Year 12 or knee deep in uni assignments, the pressure to ace exams – while holding down a job, relationships and all that other life stuff – can feel overwhelming. And with 67 per cent of Australian students describing themselves as “very anxious” come exam time – even when they’ve prepped – chances are you have a mate who feels the same.

RELATED: Apps acting against anxiety

If you’ve got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about isn’t behaving as they normally would, today is the day to ask them about it. Even just by starting the conversation, you could help them feel supported and better able to manage their load.

Feel awkward or unsure about asking? Head here for tips on how to initiate a meaningful conversation. And if you’re in need of support or worried about a friend, contact ReachOut or The Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).

And remember, although it can be difficult not to feel like a killer mark is the only way to reach your career goals (spoiler: it’s not), there are a stack of super-successful STEM professionals who didn’t get amazing ATARs or go to uni at all.

Head here for alternative study pathways. 

Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital assistant, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.

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