I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you it’s Results Day tomorrow. If you’re relying on your A-level results for a place at uni, an apprenticeship or a job, you’ve probably been counting down to this day for weeks. The euphoria you felt coming out of your last exam might feel like a distant memory, and it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, but results day anxiety shouldn’t ruin your summer.
Some of us find it easy to relax, reassuring ourselves that we tried our best and what happens now is out of our hands. Many of us find this attitude impossible to master. Playing the waiting game leaves most feeling stressed and anxious.
Common side effects of the results day countdown include sleepless nights, lack of appetite, headaches and trouble concentrating. Stress feels different for everyone but however you feel, there’s lots of great ways to help you get through Results Day as calmly as possible.
1, 2, 3… relax
A problem shared is a problem halved. If worries and worst-case scenarios are racing around your mind, speak to someone about how you’re feeling. Speaking to friends can be helpful, but if you want to avoid rehashing exam papers then try your parents, siblings or teachers – most of them will have been here before. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone you know, free helplines like Childline or The Mix are useful alternatives.
A really common reaction to stress is to stay in your room and avoid speaking to anyone. But getting outside and active, ideally with your mates, is a great distraction. Exercise like running, swimming, basketball – in fact basically anything that gets your body moving – releases endorphins, boosting energy levels, clearing your head and making you feel more positive. Exercise can also help with another common side effect of stress…
Sleep evading you? It’s no surprise – there’s been years of hard work to get to this point, but don’t let stress ruin a good night’s sleep. Exercise in the day can help to make sure you’re tired, as well as boosting your mood. Putting down your phone and turning off the TV for half an hour before you want to go to sleep can help too.
Mindfulness apps are a great way to deal with anxiety. Headspace is meditation made simple, in short sessions to help you relax – all you need is your smartphone. Give yourself a break - taking time to switch off is a great way to handle stress.
Tips for tomorrow
It’s smart to take someone with you to get your results who isn’t also picking up results. This means that whatever the outcome, you’ll have a support crew with you that won’t be distracted by their own results or feelings.
Remember, not everyone gets the results they are hoping for – but it’s rarely the end of the world. Check out our blog on the secret to happiness and get to work on your plan B, so that whatever results you get, you’ll have a plan to get started on!
If you’ve absolutely smashed it, don’t forget that not all your mates will be in the same position. Be sensitive to your friends, and try to be as helpful as possible. Offer suggestions for positive alternatives – gap years, going through clearing and apprenticeships are all excellent alternatives to first choice university places. Check back tomorrow for our top tips to deal with disappointing results.
The adventure starts here
Exam results stress is normal. It’s normal but it’s not necessary. Whatever works for you, whether it’s one of our tips or something completely different, take positive steps today to help ease your anxiety.
Remember to be excited and proud. However results day goes for you, it represents the start of something new. It’s the first step on your next adventure – even if it might not be the same adventure you originally planned!