Exam results: some quick tips to deal with the stress of results day & beyond

emoticons1Well today was the day for thousands of young people waiting for GCSE results, last week it was A and AS level results. Both can make or break ambitions for further education or training places. It can be a time of euphoria or despair and whatever the outcome it is important to take care of yourself, your friends and in a parent’s case, your children’s health and well-being.

Firstly, make sure you talk about your feelings, to friends, parents, carers. We have heard the tragic story of Robin Williams this week, an incredibly and naturally funny man who many never realised suffered terribly from the depression that caused him to take his own life. Lots of young people will not like to show their disappointment; will put on a brave face. If you know someone like this, encourage them to open up. It isn’t easy, but neither is it easy to admit you are struggling when those around you are celebrating your success. Just try to notice who may be missing….

If your results do not enable you to take your first choice place, consider your response carefully and know that this is a setback, not the end of the world. There are so many options available now and schools have counsellors available to help you through the maze of possibilities – one of which may not have previously occurred to you. Just because all your mates have gone to Uni it doesn’t mean you have to, but if you want to go through clearing don’t assume you won’t get onto a ‘good’ course. Many of the top universities still have places available, but don’t rush onto a course that may not be right for you. Perhaps an unplanned gap year will help you make a decision?

If you have done well and are planning a celebration, watch your alcohol intake. It may seem boring but at times like this people can make the wrong choices, placing themselves in danger just as their future seems so bright.

There are many other ways to help yourselves and those you care about and if you or anyone you know needs support go to www.youngminds.org.uk, www.mind.org.uk or  www.time-to-change.org.uk for example.

Take care of yourself. You have a long life ahead of you in which to achieve all manner of wonderful things. Whatever today has brought, it is just the beginning….

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