If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been shifting between enjoying summer and then suddenly fretting about results day - actively distracting yourself from the terrifying thought of opening the envelope and being face to face with your grades. One minute I’m soaking up rays from the sun and sipping on a freshly made juice, thinking to myself - ‘Ahhhh...This is the life...’ and the next I get a random flashback of question 3 on my physics paper and start wondering whether or not the answer I wrote down was clear enough, or if I checked my working with enough care.
And just like that I’m overtaken by these meticulous, overbearing thoughts.
For some (in fact it’s probably most of us) waiting for grades and results is more nerve-racking than actually sitting the exam. Years of preparation, coupled with months of intense revision and then a long break all combine to make this an especially stressful time; the anticipation is enough to drive you crazy! On top of that, the expectations of others and ourselves can add to the pressure we feel around results day. While setting goals can be healthy and aid progress, focusing too much on getting a specific grade or set of grades can only do so much – beyond a certain point it will only make you feel stressed and anxious.
It’s important to remember that you’ve sat the exam. It’s over. Finito. Done. There is nothing else you can do. You’ve done your best and that’s that.
If you feel like your parents or other family members are putting too much pressure on you and are causing you to feel anxious or unhappy, it might help to open up about how their expectations are making you feel and work to overcome this. If you’re worried about not doing as well as your peers or siblings then it might help to remember that these grades are about you. They won’t affect anyone but you. Just because your sister got an 8 in maths doesn’t mean you have to. We’re all individuals, with our own strengths and weaknesses. Viewing this as an opportunity to reflect on yourself, your behaviour and your personal performance is fundamental.
If you need a certain grade to get into a particular sixth form/college or to do a particular subject - DO NOT FRET. Life is unpredictable, and things don’t always go to plan. Look at the world – there are a million and one so called ‘disasters’ taking place right now but they aren’t stopping you from reading this article and getting on with your life.
The brilliant thing about humans is that we adapt and we are capable of change. If you don’t get into your dream college – try another one. If you don’t get accepted onto a course, you could take mini online courses, or you might end up studying a subject you enjoy more which could take you further in life.
The point is you never really know what will happen next so turn fear into excitement. There’s always another way, another path, another person – most problems have solutions. There are tons of qualifications out there, career paths and ways of life. It’s all about experimenting and finding out what works for you because ultimately, you’re the one who has to live your life so you might as well make the most of it!
Tiffany Igharoro is a student in Y11 preparing to take her GCSE's. One of her favourite pastimes is writing as it helps her organise her thoughts creatively and dynamically. She has won awards and prizes for poetry, academic and scientific writing and short stories. Recently, she won a nationwide historical essay competition that opened her eyes to the importance of how things are told, and the impact ordinary people have on the world. She is studying art GCSE and believes there is something incredible about finding links between drama, art and maths.
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