How to keep your GCSE and A Level results in perspective

How to keep your GCSE and A Level results in perspectiveAs the results days for GCSEs and A Levels draw nearer there's a high probability that you're losing sleep over your results. You probably remember that results day is coming along several times per day and get a sick feeling in your stomach and shivers down your spine. Your worry levels are through the roof.

Well, today I'm going to help you to put GCSE and A Level results into perspective. Yes, they're important. Of course I think that, I've got a business based on helping you to get the best results you can possibly achieve. However, I'm also a human being and I can tell you that there are many, many things in life more important that a list of grades on a pieces of paper.

How to keep your GCSE and A Level results in perspective

1. Remember what's really important to you

If I asked you what the three things in life that are most important to you are, you probably wouldn't list any qualifications. You'd probably put family members, close friends and meaningful memories up there. You might include a secure home or a hobby that makes you feel alive. For me, my family, my husband, children, parents and sister and her family, would come way up there.

So when you're stressing about results day remember the things that are really important to you first.

2. Count your blessings

When you're stressing about results and worrying about the consequences of getting results that aren't quite as good as you hope they might be, try to think of all the good things you've got in your life.

If you don't get the results that you want, who will be there supporting you and dealing with the fall out? For most of us, our parents will be there. For those that are less fortunate there may well be an amazing teacher or someone similar. Our relationships with these people, who will be by our side, loving us, supporting us and even comiserating with us through the good and the bad are the things that we should be really grateful for. You can count on the fact that the love these people feel for you won't change whether you get an A, a B or a C. They'll love you forever, no matter what.

3. Watch a disaster movie

The day before I got my A Level results I watched the movie Armageddon. Starring Bruce Willis, it tells the story of an asteroid plummeting through space towards planet earth. Bruce plays a drilling expert and he's sent up in a space rocket to drill a hole in the asteroid, place a nuclear bomb in the hole and set it off in order to destroy the asteroid. He dies but he saves earth from armageddon.

Watching this movie, while it was really silly, kind of put A Level results into perspective. Whether I got my five A grades and got into Cambridge paled into insignificance in the context of thinking about the obliteration of planet earth.

Movies I've watched recently that will help you put your exam results into perspective include Dunkirk (about the evacuation of the British army from Dunkirk during World War 2) and The Impossible which is about one family's experience of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

4. Stand on a mountain

Now, you're probably thinking I'm insane. But that's not the case. In fact, I'm a geographer!

What I mean by that is that I have a real appreciation of things that take a V-E-R-Y long time to happen. Millions of years, in fact.

This is called geological time and it's the kind of time frame in which mountains are made and continents and oceans are formed.

When you look at history on this kind of time scale, you really can't help but think your personal GCSE or A Level results are quite insignificant.

5. There's always another way

Recently I heard the amazing story of Tirej Brimo, a Syrian refugee who graduated as a doctor from St George's medical school in London. He had started his medical training in Syria 10 years ago. Near the end of his medical training the Syrian war broke out and he had to leave the country as a refugee.

Eventually, he arrived in England and applied to all 32 British medical schools. The first 31 turned him down, but St Georges put their faith in him and now he's a fully qualified doctor working in the NHS.

It would have been very easy for Tirej to give up on his dreams. But he kept fighting and he eventually found a way.

Even if you don't get the results you need or want to move onto the next step in your path, there usually is a way to get where you want to go, if you're resilient enough, and you believe in yourself enough.

You might have to take the round-about route, or might discover that you were actually trying to take the wrong road and a new route is actually much better for you. But believe in yourself and your dreams and those results won't matter very much at all but the time you're 25, no matter what you end up doing.

In conclusion

Yes, exam reports are very important to you and your life in the coming weeks and months. But, believe me, they are very far from being the most important thing in your life. If you've got your health, your happiness and your loved ones around you you've got the strength you need to cope with anything that's in that envelope, or that email, on results day.

Going back to school or college in September?

If you're going back to school or college in September you'll want to start the school year in the right way. In my free download for students and parents I share my 7 top back to school tips. Get your copy and make sure you make a flying start to the new academic year.

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