What to do if you're collecting your A Level results this week

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The wait for exam results can be a long and anxious one. Those questions you just weren't 100 per cent sure on keep going around in your mind and as the day approaches, it's normal to feel nervous. Our mental health nursing student Jean Tsiga shares her experience collecting exam results and has some top tips to help you feel more positive.

Jean Tsiga"How many times have you been told to 'keep calm' and 'everything will turn out fine'? Whilst this seems to be quite cliché, I can tell you that there is nothing more you can do at this point but to be calm. I won't pretend that it's easy. I've been there and it was one of the hardest things to do. In fact, waiting for any exam results can be quite distressing and it is very important that you first of all acknowledge these thoughts and feelings.

"One way to deal with any issue is to accept that it exists. Talking to someone is the simplest way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. I know that there will be some of you who naturally feel like being alone and that is ok, as long as you are not completely isolating yourself for hours on end. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to talk about the results per sé, but at least have a conversation with someone, even if you are going to talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Of course, I encourage you not to dismiss the topic about results if it crops up in your conversation. After all, the exam is long finished now so it won’t hurt to confront your anxieties.  

"You're also likely to know at least one person that is excited about getting their results because they feel like they've done well. Try not to let that bother you too much. Instead, just embrace their confidence and maybe if you're like me, start wishing that one day you will be just as excited. Nonetheless, doing practical things that you know will help you to stay calm like walking, writing or even exercising are great ways to distract yourself and release those feel-good hormones. If you feel quite tired however, how about listening to music, watching movies or reading your favourite blogs. After all, chill-out time can also help you to lower your blood pressure especially if you're feeling pretty anxious.

"I know that the last thing you want to do at this stage is to prepare for the not-so-good results, but the reality sometimes is that you may not have done as well as you hoped. You might want to have a back-up plan. Talk to someone about the options available for you. I can assure you that it is not the end of the world if you don’t do so well. To be very honest with you, at this stage you're still capable of getting back on track because you have already got this far. Think of how you felt when you were waiting for your GCSE or any other exam results. Yet, today you are here. There's no one-size-fits-all remedy when it comes to dealing with the prospect of collecting your exam results but here are my top tips.

Jean's top tips

1. Eat healthily  

Try and have a balanced meal each day. Even if you don’t feel like eating, your body needs the energy. 

2. Prepare

Start thinking about how you would travel to collect your results and maybe consider having someone to go with you. Alternatively, have your phone charged and ready to for the calls and texts you may need to make to share your news.

3. Let your emotions do their thing

When you finally collect your results, allow yourself to express your emotions considerably. Yep! Everyone is feeling the same – and if you get the results you wanted and someone else doesn’t next to you its important to be empathetic.  

4. Talk to people

If you've not done as well as you expected, remember that you're entitled to express your feelings. If you get to a point that you can no longer cope with the distress, tell someone how you feel. Try not to keep dwelling on it. Dust yourself off and try again. We win some, we lose some, but we still live to see another day so bear that in mind.

That said, I hope you will have every reason to celebrate regardless of the outcome. Maybe one day you too can use your experiences to publish a blog and help others cope with results day!

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