Stressed About A-Level Results Day? Here's How To Cope
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A-level Results Day 2023 is almost here and we’re sure that your stress levels are high for the big day.
Don’t worry if this is the case, there will be a lot of young people across England, Scotland and Wales who are feeling the same way.
For those who already suffer with anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, the idea of big life events such as results day can really impact upon their wellbeing and cause excessive stress.
To help you minimise and manage stress in the run up to results day, as well as on the day itself, we’ve put together this helpful guide.
When Is A-Level Results Day 2023?
Knowing the details of A-level Results Day is important, as it will help to keep your stress levels at bay if you’re prepared.
A-level Results Day in England and Wales is taking place on Thursday 17th August 2023 so there isn’t too long to go.
For those in Scotland, SQA results day is also on the same day.
On the big day, you should be able to pick up your A-level results from your school or college from 8am.
Although, it’s best to find out more details from your institution as times may vary.
Symptoms Of Stress
We believe it’s important to provide young people with support for understanding the signs of results day related stress, so that they don’t struggle on their own.
Here we’ve listed some of the mental and physical symptoms of results day stress, but remember, the signs can be different for everyone.
- Headaches or dizziness
- Muscle tension or pain
- Stomach problems
- Chest pain or a faster heartbeat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Constantly feeling tired due to problems sleeping, possible bad dreams
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Feeling less motivated to look after yourself
- Not wanting to spend time with family and friends
- Struggling to make decisions
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Constantly worrying and thinking about results day
How You Can Cope With Results Day Stress
We understand that waiting for your A-level results can be a really worrying time and your mental health can take a hit, but there are ways you can cope.
Different coping strategies work for different people which is why it’s important to find ways to de-stress which work for you.
To help you out, we’ve put together some tips and advice below if you’re feeling anxious to collect your results.
1. Try To Keep Things In Perspective
It’s easier said than done to try to keep things in perspective as results day can feel like your whole life depends on what you achieve, but this isn’t the case.
When you’re stressed out, you tend to hyper fixate on everything that is going wrong, but if you step back from the situation and have a think about what is going well, it will help to keep stress in check.
University isn’t the only path out there so if you don’t get the grades you were expecting, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, remember that.
If you try your best but things don’t work out, this is all that matters, and there’s plenty of other ways you can achieve your career goals and ambitions!
2. Plan For Any Outcome
If you’re struggling with stress in the run up to A-level results day, we’d suggest planning for any outcome.
Try to have a think about what would happen if you were to achieve your expected grades, what would you need to do next?
Or if you got lower than you were expecting, what next steps would you need to take?
It’s best to research other options and UCAS Clearing, this way you’re prepared for whatever happens.
Whilst we’re not saying the worst-case scenario is going to happen, if you’re prepared for things to go either way, you’ll feel a lot calmer on the day.
3. Keep Yourself Busy
It’s important to keep yourself occupied with activities that distract you from thinking about A-level Results Day too much.
Whether it’s making plans with friends, playing your favourite video games, going for a walk, listening to your favourite podcasts, reading new books or so on.
Keeping yourself busy with activities that you enjoy means you’ll be less likely to dwell on your thoughts and get yourself worked up.
It’s summer after all, don’t forget to have fun and make memories with the people in your life.
The last thing you want to do is isolate yourself or stop doing things you enjoy!
4. Speak To Your Friends & Family
No matter if you speak to your friends and family in-person or online, it’s so important to have a support system if you’re struggling and feeling stressed.
The people in your life will know you best and it can help to ease the burden if you get things off your chest, you never know, your friends may be feeling the same.
It may even be that your older relatives have experienced similar feelings waiting for their results day, so it’s good to check in with people and get advice.
We know, it can be all too easy to shut yourself off from people when you’re stressed, but you shouldn’t go through things alone.
Talk to someone that you trust and who’s a good listener.
If your stress levels aren’t improving and you feel overwhelmed, you should speak to your GP, make an appointment with a therapist or another professional.
5. Be Sure To Get Enough Sleep
There are plenty of studies which show that sleep and stress are linked, and not getting enough rest can cause a low mood and low energy.
Whilst it can be hard to sleep when your mind is racing about results day, a healthy sleeping pattern is crucial for good physical and mental wellbeing.
Not sleeping enough can lead to higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety and frustration so you should try your best to get around 7-9 hours of rest each night.
6. Look After Your Physical Health
Exercise is a great way to boost your health and wellbeing, as well as ease stress.
Staying fit shouldn’t be just something on your to-do list, it should be something you enjoy doing, whether that’s walking, running, dancing, cycling or so on.
There really are so many stress busting benefits of exercising and even just 15-20 minutes a day can do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing.
In the weeks leading up to A-level results day, try to do a form of exercise each day, you’ll probably find you’re much less stressed and have feel-good endorphins after!
Another good way you can look after your physical health and reduce stress levels is by eating a well-balanced diet.
Hopefully our guide for dealing with results day stress has helped you.
We wish you all of the best, and remember to look after your mental health in the run up to the big day!
There are plenty of other useful resources out there if you’re stressed about getting your results, like from Young Minds.
Wondering what to bring with you to university? Take a read of our guide on Packing For University: The Ultimate First Year Checklist 2023.