With results day just around the corner for our GCSE, A-level and BTEC students, it’s a nerve-wracking time for many of us. After last year’s, late-notice changes to the way grades were going to be awarded, we have all been working hard this year to get to where we needed to be – students and staff alike! And whilst we had a bit more clarity, that doesn’t mean the anxiety is any less real.
If you ask any of your parents, aunts, uncles or even teachers they’ll definitely be able to tell you what they remember from their results day – whether it went to plan or not, how they felt, and what they did that day. What they’ll also be able to tell you is how things worked out for them regardless of what that little brown envelope contained.
The key take-homes from asking questions like this, are that everyone has a different experience, and that the grades don’t have to define your future.
If you’re feeling nervous, here are some helpful tips
1. Tell someone that you care about. When we talk about the things that are making us nervous, it’s much easier to consolidate how we really feel about them, and gain a sense of perspective.
2. Breathe. When you notice yourself getting nervous, take 2 minutes out just to breathe. Close your eyes, focus on the air going in and the air going out of your body. It’s really helpful (if you can) to lie down or relax in a comfortable chair.
3. Challenge those negative forecasts. Do you find yourself saying ‘It won’t go my way’ or ‘What if I don’t get the grades I need?’. That’s absolutely normal and these thoughts can be challenged. Ask yourself what evidence you have to prove that it won’t go your way. Has anyone categorically told you that you haven’t done well? If not then how do you know what that envelope will say? We don’t have to believe these thoughts if they have no real grounding.
4. Remind yourself of all your hard work. You’ve done everything you can up to this moment. You’ve put in all the years of work, handed in your finished projects and coursework. There is really nothing you can do in the lead up to results day now to change the outcome, so try to remind yourself that the hard work has already been done.
5. Do what you need to do for you on the day. Don’t feel pressured into opening your results in front of friends or peers. If you want to take your results to a private, safe place then do that! This is your day, so do what you need to do.
6. Remember, you aren’t alone. You aren’t alone in how you feel, and you aren’t alone in handling the outcome. No matter what your results are there are people at the school, people at the college you are moving onto or UCAS who are there to help, advise and guide you in your next steps. There are also people who are there to celebrate you - all the hard work you’ve achieved, and the person you have become.
You will be OK and you have achieved so much.