In the run up to A-Level results day thousands of students across the country tend to panic and catastrophise. Results day stress is completely normal, but if it builds it can impact your mental health.
Social Media’s great for connecting with people and celebrating your achievements, but it can an upsetting place. Reading tweets about people fretting about their results and how they think they’re going to fail can make you start thinking about these possibilities. Try to avoid social media/the exam related hashtags such as #ResultsDay2019 and #ALevelResultsDay.
Plan for Results Day
Help reduce some of your stress by planning out the logistics of results day. Make sure you know the answers to these questions:
- Where do you get your results from?
- What time do you have to be there?
- How are you getting there?
- Who are you going with?
Have A Plan B
Having a Plan B makes it easier to bounce back from disappoint if you’ve considered your alternatives. A lot of anxiety is caused by uncertainty around the future and you can help mitigate that by preparing.
If you think there’s a possibility you’ll be entered into UCAS Clearing start to make a list of Clearing courses and universities you’re interested in. That way, on results day you know what you need to do next and don’t have to spend time worrying about where you can go to university. If you decide that Clearing is not for you there are lots of different options. You could consider taking a gap year and reapplying next year.
Alternatively, apprenticeships are a brilliant way to kick start your career or even to get a degree through degree apprenticeships. Find out more about degree level apprenticeships here.
Do YOUR activity
Northumbria University’s psychology expert Doctor Wolfson says that everyone’s reactions to stress are different, so you have to think about what works well for you and follow your instincts. If taking a long walk helps you relax – then do it! If hanging out with friends works for you – do it! There’s no one-size fits all method to reducing stress, you need to tailor stress busting activities to yourself.
Who can I talk to?
If you are feeling particularly stressed don’t bottle it up. There are lots of people you can talk to:
- Your family
- The careers officer at your school
- Your friends – they’re probably feeling the same way as you but aren’t talking about it
- Childline & Anxiety UK provide excellent listening services
On Results Day
On results day it’s important to remember these three things:
- Everyone will be caught up in their own results
- It’s OK to open the results alone in private
- You don’t have to share your grades if you don’t want to
By Clarissa Ducie