Saturday, 20 August 2016

GCSE Results - Why it's NOT worth the stress

It seemed like an apt time to write this post as this week students received their A-Level results and next week marks the same for those awaiting their GCSE's. I hope this sheds some light on why worrying and stressing an extreme amount is simply not worth it when all things are taken into consideration. So, back to 2012...

I was 16 and like many others across the country, waiting to get my results. Due to mental health and struggles with anxiety, if you didn't already know, I was home-schooled. Not by my parents, but by a government run online programme called 'E-Learning'. Anyway, the teachers on there predicted that I would get quite good grades that would see me securing my place at Sixth Form. Along came the dreaded day and of course, they had got it wrong, I hadn't done nearly as well as I wanted or needed to have done and it honestly felt like the end of the world to me. 

'What was I going to do now?' was just one of the questions racing through my head, there were tears and yeah it wasn't the best experience. Because of how worked up and stressed I had got, before even considering alternative plans or contacting my chosen college, I ended up having an epileptic seizure. The first I had ever experienced. I had never had any issue with epilepsy or seizures in the past, so I guess the environmental factors around me influenced it's sudden appearance. From the moment I regained consciousness I think I realised that wow, that really was not worth the stress and things kind of got put into perspective when I was carted off in an ambulance. 

There is so much pressure put on young people to do really well and get A's and B's but at the end of the day, if somebody has truly put their all in and done their best - what more can you ask from them? Surely, factors such as health and happiness come into the mix somewhere. Luckily after speaking to the Sixth Form I wanted to go to, despite not getting the grades required, I was still given my place considering I had half-taught myself during secondary school. I was thrilled!

There is always a way. Even if you can't get into the college you wanted, there could be another one, or a different option available. It's never truly the end of the world and to make yourself ill because of some letters on a piece of paper with your name on it is really not worth it.

There are so many successful people who have no qualifications whatsoever and yet they are perfectly happy and stable. Whatever the outcome of your results next week, there is always a way and perhaps the choice you intended to take wasn't the right one. Good luck and most importantly, stay proud and safe no matter what.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Exams, Stress and Your Future

It's at this time of year that I definitely don't envy all of the people out there doing exams, whether that be GCSE's or A-Levels. I have been there and done that and I can't stand the fact that everyone is put under such a huge amount of pressure to do well. You should try your best, of course, but when people are constantly referring to your future and how it relies on these exam results I get a bit frustrated. 

I'll be honest with you, the highest grade I got at GCSE was a C. The amount of stress I felt on GCSE results day after collecting that scary brown envelope made me extremely ill and to be honest, it really was not worth it. I was scared, I thought I had failed at my life and that the Sixth Form I'd been given a place at wouldn't want to take me anymore. It turns out that they did despite my results not meeting the required grades, if only I'd have known that before panicking. I'm now at university (I never, ever saw that one coming!) and nobody has even mentioned my GCSE results, they are a thing of the past. What do they actually mean? That you're good at remembering things? You could be totally great at a subject but be having a bad day when it comes to the exam.... That isn't exactly the best representation of your skills and what you're capable of.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know how stressful exams are, especially the results, but I don't think everyone knows how dangerous stress is - what ill health it can bring on. Anxiety, (epilepsy in my case), and I don't know how many other things! Parents and teachers should probably be a bit more clued up on this stuff too, especially when it comes to those adults who are constantly pressurising their children and students. 

This isn't me trying to scare anyone, sit those exams, try your absolute hardest, do your best - and if you do that then nobody should be disappointed, because well, what more can they ask for?


Good luck!