01.09.21 – Exam results day can be a stressful time for students and their families, but this year may be particularly difficult. Below are some supports which might be of help to you.
Text About It – 50808
If you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed about your results, the CAO, or your plans for the future, the HSE has an anonymous 24/7 text message support service can connect you with a trained volunteer who will listen to you and help you to move forward feeling better.
Free-text HELLO to 50808 to get started.
Leaving Certificate Helpline – 1800 265 165
There is a free helpline being run by the National Parents’ Council in association with the Irish Independent, the Department of Education, and supported by the GAA. Qualified guidance counsellors will be available to give advice and support to both students and their parents, starting Friday 3rd September. Click here for dates and times.
- Advice for Students (from SpunOut.ie)
- Advice for Parents (borrowed from the UK)
- Supporting your Friends if they don’t get the results they need (borrowed from the UK)
Frequently Asked Questions (Source)
What will I tell other people if I don’t get the results I wanted?
Students often worry about how other people will react if they do not get the results they hope for. This is especially true for parents and family members who may themselves feel apprehensive as results day approaches. When you plan for different outcomes, it can be helpful to share these plans with the people around you. This helps them to realise there are other options available if things don’t go to plan, and allows you to quickly pick up a constructive conversation when you find out your grades. It’s also important to give yourself and other people time to adjust. Moving on from receiving news about grades is a big change and adjusting to any change is a process; it doesn’t happen overnight.
How can I cope with feeling worried about my grades?
Feeling apprehensive and worried, or anxious, about any important news is normal. This is a natural human response designed to help us deal with important things ahead. And of course, your exam results are important. For many students, the results they get will influence what they do next – perhaps which course, college, university, or job they take – which means most people will feel some level of nerves around receiving their results. It can help to remember that this is a normal response and that it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong.
Sometimes, we worry or feel upset when we think about how things might, or should, have turned out – psychologists call this ‘ruminating’ – and it can help to remember that even if there hadn’t been the change to teacher assessment, there would still have been uncertainties in the ordinary exams. Everybody ruminates a bit sometimes, and that can be okay, but if we do this too much, it can be unhelpful. Thinking through realistic plans for different possibilities can help with this.
Our research has shown that it can be difficult for students if they feel that grades mean something about them as a person, or make them a different kind of person. Of course, when we get the grades we hope for, we feel pleased with the achievement and want to celebrate. But it can be unhelpful to think of your grades defining you as a person. You are not your grades. They are just a snapshot in time of how you were doing in certain subjects and don’t change who you are, or who you will be in the future. It’s more helpful to our wellbeing to keep our achievements a little bit separate from who we are as a person. That way, we can take charge of a situation, good or bad, without taking setbacks too much to heart.
What if I feel very stressed or worried, or this feels out of my control?
During this period of disruption, people have been reassured by connecting with others who are going through the same thing. It can help to talk to other people who might be feeling the same way and hear about how they are finding ways to cope.
You may find it helpful to talk with others in your year group who are getting their results. Or you might find it helpful to talk about your own experiences and share you own feelings with trusted friends or family.
At very stressful points, some people find it helpful to use breathing techniques to reduce physical symptoms of stress and to feel calmer. If you think this might work for you, you could try ‘four square breathing’. This works by deliberately breathing in a slow pattern:
- breathe in slowly for 4 seconds
- hold the breath for 4 seconds
- breathe out slowly for 4 seconds
- hold lungs empty for 4 seconds