After an intense few months of revising and worrying for many young people undertaking GCSE and A-Level exams, the results of their hard work will be revealed over the next few weeks, with A-level results this year taking place on 15th August, and GCSE’s on the 22nd.
Although some may say that the hardest part is over, for many young people the days leading to results day will be full of anxiety, stress and doubt. If you have a child, or care for someone who is dealing with the pressure of a doubtful exam results day, here are some positive steps you can take, and bits of advice to give them before and during the day.
Discourage overuse of social media
In the lead-up to the day, and particularly the day itself, their social media feeds will be full of people posting about the upcoming results. Although some posts may help them see that others are in the same boat, the continuous reminder of these emotions may cause the young person to overthink things and cause further worry and panic. If they do not get the results they were hoping for, social media will be full of celebratory posts which could make them feel even worse.
Suggesting some calming activities that could distract them such as a walk, or watching a favourite film.
Remind them that exam results aren’t everything
Although it may feel like the most important thing at the moment, there are so many qualities and skills in a person that can’t be measured by school exams. Remind them of the good qualities they have that make them special, and reassure them that no matter what results they have, you will be proud of their hard work and support them moving forward in life.
Look to the future
It’s important to remind the young person that even if they do not get the results they wanted or expected, there are always alternative routes to gain the life skills, qualifications and work experience they need to go forward in life. If they are in the right mindset, you could help them look for their next step – whether that be further learning through school, apprenticeship, college or university.
Helping them look forward to the future will help to keep their spirits up, and may relieve some feelings of worry and anxiety.
On our Youth Mental Health First Aid course, Ajuda cover topics including stress and anxiety, with lots of practical tips on ways of dealing with these with young people in your care. Our courses can be booked in-house at our Cardiff Bay Training Centre, or at a location of your choice for groups of 12 or more.
Ajuda are also busy organising our upcoming Talking Mental Health Conference in Cardiff City Stadium on October 10th (World Mental Health Day). We have talks on the day about mental illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar, depression and more, along with a selection of mental health organisations, charities and services at our exhibition.
You can order tickets for the conference here.