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Feeling Stressed About Exams

(8 Posts)
ElPathetico Sun 07-Jun-15 15:14:01

I'm currently sitting my A2 exams. I have an offer to study my dream course at a great university but there is no way I am going to get the grades. This year has been quite bad for me health wise. I've had 'complications' with a long term health condition as well as various mental health issues. I am not on my way to failing quite badly and this thought makes my blood run dry. I was predicted all A*s and at this rate, I will probably not even manage to get Cs. I've actually been seriously contemplating suicide since the start of exam season. I know it would be stupid of me to do this however and I will cause my family pain. I just don't know what to do.

A part of me wants to just stop trying/studying now and relax for the sake of my mental health, but then what then? It feels like there is no hope and I don't feel like I can talk about this with anyone because it's my fault. I've ruined my life by not studying and there' nothing I can do about it now. I've tried convincing myself that it's all going to be okay whether I fail these exams or not but the people I've talked to about it in real life have not been supportive at all. I'm not even sure what I'm asking. I guess I just wanted to let it all out.

Inexperiencedchick Sun 07-Jun-15 15:25:33

There is always hope!

No suicide thoughts, you don't need that.

Only positive thoughts, no matter what you get.
If you want get what you aim for you will work one more year harder and get it next year. Exam is not the end of the world.

I've sat professional course exam 3 times, and was pissed of just because it sucks. But I passed it in my third attempt and felt relieved. And English is not my first language.

Don't put so much pressure on yourself no matter what others will think of you or say to you.

It's your life and you need those results no one else.

Just imagine students your age in third world countries where they are desperate to study and their life is always at risk...

You are lucky to be where you are right now.

Not everyone has that opportunity.

Good luck, I'm pretty sure you will master it!

SelfLoathing Sun 07-Jun-15 15:31:08

OK - one step at a time there.

1. If you've had health issues, speak to your doctor and your teachers about this and whether you can write to the examining boards and/or your university in advance of taking your exams for special dispensation or other accomodations for taking your exams. Also speak to your teachers about things you can do in that regard after you've taken the exam.

2. I know it all seems like the end of the world right now - but it really really isn't. The absolute worst case scenario is you fail your exams. Even if that happens, you have lots of options - you can resit them, you could take a year off and come back to it, you could look for other vocational training that doesn't need A levels. Ideally you need A-levels so probably re-sitting would be best - but all I'm saying is it DEFINITELY isn' the end of the world and definitely not worth committing suicide about.

3. If you are serious in your reference to suicide (as opposed to a fleeting dramatic thought that flitted through your head) you must get some help and not keep it all in.. Talk to your parents - be open with them how you feel. Maybe contact your doctor.

4. Look for anxiety coping mechanisms like meditation, massage etc and try to calm down. Huge anxiety is a block to learning. But at the same time, you need to keep the revision going.

Very best of luck.

LazyLouLou Sun 07-Jun-15 15:40:07

Talk to your Head of Year on Monday. Get it all documented and ask them for their help in sorting it all out, including talking to the University and asking them to consider holding a place until you have resat your exams, if necessary.

You may well fail to achieve A*s but that is not going to derail your whole life.

Also ask the Head, or your tutor, to tell you how to get in touch with the college counsellors. They will be able to help you with some control and relaxation tips.

I can only repeat, talk to Head of Year, tutor and counsellors. They have a lot of experience that they cannot use to help you unless you talk to them.

Good luck xx

Offred Sun 07-Jun-15 15:41:42

Hi, I was you. I left college and never sat any A-levels in the end. I didn't have family support as academic success was everything to them. They kicked me out and I spent awhile homeless and in abusive relationships. I have suffered suicidal ideation and have made two serious attempts.

In the end none of this has actually had a real negative effect on the outcome of my life. I have a life that I am happy in now at 31 and I'm studying law at OU (still no a-levels), I've got distinction on every module despite leaving school at 16, I am about to do a dream internship in the USA (for 6 weeks). There is hope.

My advice would be to scale everything back and deal with the problems you have first. Take some time, be kind to yourself. Me and my boyfriend have not followed conventional routes into what we wanted to do and this has given us skills which are attractive to employers. I had a shit time because I didn't feel I was allowed to just get off the treadmill and be nice to myself (in reality my parents were shit parents who didn't want me to) so my advice would be to just stop. If you think you are going to fail and have needs (rather than issues) just stop and address them, take care of yourself and go back if and when you are ready.

Offred Sun 07-Jun-15 15:43:34

I had four kids between 20 and 25 btw which is why I'm delayed in doing all this stuff - you're not looking at another decade to get things sorted and be happy.

Offred Sun 07-Jun-15 15:46:31

I think you should talk to people too but don't rely on them being helpful. No-one helped me. Things have changed now and they may well help you but it is bad to rely on the other people helping IMO. Asking for help had been hit and miss with me. Sometimes people have helped and sometimes not but what's got me through is being my own friend first and continuing to ask for help even when people haven't followed through.

larkspurr Sun 07-Jun-15 17:09:03

Just wanted to echo the good advice from other posters. Please share your feelings with your Head of Year, form tutor (or any other teacher you feel comfortable talking to), as they will be able to help you form a sensible plan of action. It's also well worth visiting your GP, so that your health issues and their impact on your studies can be documented, but more importantly for some advice on how to manage your anxiety and deal with the thoughts you have been having. Finally, you say 'it's my fault', but it really isn't! Do remember that, don't punish yourself. It sounds as though you have really been doing your best in very challenging circumstances. Offred is right, look after yourself and your health as a first priority. I have a couple of good friends who faced similar difficulties with A-Level; both ended up taking slightly different paths to those they had originally planned, but things worked out brilliantly career-wise (and happiness-wise) for both in the end. There is definitely hope.

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