1. Don’t be too hard on yourself – don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Evteryone is scared, everyone wants to do well and its totally normal to feel like that but don’t crush yourself with your own pressure – ultimately that’ll have an adverse effect!
2. Try to remain calm before entering the exam – easier said than done I know (trust me I do) but if you could take yourself away somewhere quiet for 5-10 minutes before hand and just breathe (try some quick mindfulness exercises) and tell yourself you can do it, it’ll do you wonders. Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyone else’s stress while you wait is no good for anyone!
3. Results, they aren’t the be all and end all – these results do not define your life, I promise. It’s so easy to feel like if you don’t do well and don’t get good grades then you’re done for, but I promise that is not the case.
4. Once your exam is finished, don’t stress – it is so easy to come out and compare notes with friends and go over every question in your head “what if I put this/that?”. Once you’re out, you’re out and you did your best, now go and do something you enjoy!
5. How other people do doesn’t affect you – I cannot stress this point enough, no comparing. You did what you could do and that is all that matters.
6. A’s & A*’s aren’t the only way to achieve what you want in life – if your exams don’t go as planned and you don’t get the grades you needed or wanted, there are other ways to achieve what you want. So, don’t beat yourself up.
7. There is more to life than a university degree – I know a lot of people make such a big deal about getting into university and getting that degree but honestly, you’ll be 100% okay without one if it isn’t for you. Don’t feel pressured to go if it’s not what you want. IF you do fantastic, but if you don’t that is equally as great.
I know it’s hard to believe and when you’re stressed about something it’s hard to imagine anyone else really understanding or having any idea what it’s like to be you right now.
But I was you once and all these points are so things I wish I could have read back then.
And you want to know why you should actually take these points on board?
Because I’m the girl that felt and did the opposite to pretty much all of them and if I could have given myself this advice then I so would of (which is why I’m writing it for everyone else instead)!
I’m the girl that came out of a psychiatric unit (after 6 months and having missed almost the entire of years 10&11) a month before having to sit her GCSE’s and the stress I felt was unreal, the pressure I put on myself to do well and achieve top grades, the pressure I put on myself about needing to get to college and university, thinking that my life would be a disaster if I didn’t achieve what in my head I felt I had to achieve.
Well I can tell you I was wrong because guess what? I didn’t get top grades – in fact I didn’t even get one A and at the time I cannot tell you how gutted I was, the shame I felt for not being good enough, I didn’t want to tell anyone my results, everyone was better than me (in reality that was not actually the case but that’s how it felt). That was it in my mind, I didn’t get good grades so I would never achieve a thing.
Here I am though 7 years after I left secondary school, 7 years since I got those dreaded results and whats happened in those years:
I went to college (I still got onto a diploma course despite my (awful) results)
I didn’t go to university – I didn’t want to and that’s ok.
I have managed to work, and get jobs and jobs that I am interested in and want to do (not just any jobs) despite my results. And just this week I have managed to get a job doing exactly what I want to be doing!
So, when I say it’s not the be all and end all I really do mean it, I know it’s so easy to get caught up in it now but I promise you there are other ways around the world than the path people (especially education) want you to follow.
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE SITTING EXAMS OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS!
As long as you give it your best shot that is all anyone can ask (and if people are asking more tell them to shhh, its stressful enough already) ❤️❤️