We all want to see our hard work pay off with good results. This is especially true when your final exams are finished and all you can do now is wait for them to be marked and get your results.
It’s understandable that the wait between finishing exams and getting your results is a cause of stress. ChildLine has revealed that they saw a spike in the number of calls about exam stress from 861 in 2020 to 1,812 in 2021, which means we might see a further spike this year.
In this article, we’ll look at ways to relieve stress surrounding results day that might even help in your everyday life outside of education.
Everyone’s feeling it
Though it may not help to hear on an individual level, everyone waiting for their exam results is feeling the same way. The stress heading into results season is something that everyone will be experiencing, no matter how much revision or work you put in.
Communicating these fears and worries with your peers can not only take the weight off your own mind but will make others feel calmer knowing they aren’t alone either. It’ll also strengthen a sense of camaraderie knowing you’re in this together and that these feelings are mutual.
No matter how you or your friends think you did, talking about it with friends and peers helps to bring things into perspective. Knowing you’re all experiencing the same thing can help to mellow out those anxieties and worries.
Maintain a good sleep pattern
Getting enough rest is crucial to avoid rising stress levels. Stress can affect you physically as well as mentally, so making sure you get a good night’s sleep to avoid any potential wear on your body is important.
The Sleep Foundation recommend that teenagers between 14–17 years old should be getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep to a maximum of 10 to feel properly rested. Not only are you likely to lose sleep during exam season, but the thought of what results you might receive could also have an impact.
We lose a lot of energy just going about our everyday lives. Adding stress to that mix increases the energy lost, making sleep even more important to recuperate. That’s why we’re emphasising how important getting enough rest and recovery through sleep is.
Distract yourself with life
The world doesn’t stop spinning while you wait for your results, so you shouldn’t stop living your life either. While the day might feel massive and overwhelming, you can’t let it control how you live once you’ve finished your exams.
However you choose to distract yourself, there’re plenty of options. Exercise is a great example, as not only are you physically exerting yourself and having to concentrate on it, but it also releases a lot of positive endorphins into your brain. Plus, you can do it with friends for an added boost, whether that’s going to the gym, to the pool, or even playing football in the park.
Even just meeting up with friends and going for a walk or a coffee is a fantastic distraction. Talking about anything other than exams and results is a great way to unwind. The cinema is another great alternative, as it puts you in an environment where you have to focus on one thing.
Take care of yourself
The impact stress can have on your body and mind is huge and can derail your day-to-day life, so it’s important you’re taking measures to look after your well-being. This can be as simple as creating a routine and sticking to it, which focuses your mind on that rather than your results.
If you’re really struggling, mindfulness can also be a great solution. Techniques for meditation and monitoring your breathing can help to reduce stress and even put into perspective where your stress is coming from and how it affects your body and mentality.
Both before and after receiving your results, social media will be flooded with people both celebrating and commiserating what they get. Taking time away from these platforms will reduce the feelings of stress and isolation that social media can have.
Plan for the day
If the thought of results day is too much to not concentrate on, creating a plan for the day can help to reduce the stress it creates. Knowing what time your results are released and where to pick them up can stop potential confusion on the day that would lead to further stress.
If it helps, picking up your results either with friends or family can make the world of difference. Making sure you feel comfortable and supported is important to relieve the pressure of the day and can help to raise confidence and even try and enjoy the day.
You could also take some time to familiarise yourself with the Clearing or adjustment processes. They’re nothing to be scared of or looked down on, and having that information for what your options are if things don’t go to plan can ease a large amount of worry.
At the end of the day, you’ve done all you can do. Once you’ve left the exam room, your control of the situation is gone. While exams are a way for you to test what you know, the stress and pressure you feel as a result can be heavy. Taking measures to reduce the stress you feel as results day approaches is important, whether that’s surrounding yourself with peers to remind yourself that you’re not isolated in your feelings or adding a routine to your life to take care of yourself, we hope these ideas help to provide options for reducing that stress.