Students across the UK are waiting for their exam results with anticipation this month, hoping to secure a place at their chosen college or university. But what about the students who don’t make the grade?
A record number of 55,700 applicants gained places at UK universities through UCAS Clearing last year*, following a decrease in the number of A-grades awarded. So while some will be celebrating, others will be feeling disappointed with their grades. The UK’s leading bed manufacturer Silentnight and sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, offers advice for students losing sleep over their exam results this summer.
1. Resist the temptation to wallow
Don’t dwell too much on your situation. Understand that you have not achieved what you aimed for, then look at how you can move forward and what you can do to make the best of the situation. Don’t sabotage your options or your health by spending long periods, alone, wallowing on your results. Interact with people, talk to teachers, friends and family to help you through. Value yourself enough to move on.
2. Practise ‘the worst possible scenario’
We can become overwhelmed and stressed when we don’t think a situation through properly and focus on the worst case scenario. Use your imagination to ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ and write out all the possible alternatives, even if they seem a little ridiculous. Dealing with this now will help you to handle the situation more effectively if you do find yourself disappointed on results day. Once you‘ve done this, reflect on any positives that can come out of the situation. Many successful people look back at their failures and realise the positives that have come out of the situation to help them understand their development.
3. Manage your own expectations
Recognise your limits and realise that there are other options out there for you. If possible, set yourself realistic targets, learn how to ask for help and find out about ways to change your career path. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
4. Treat yourself
Whether you got the grades you wanted or not, take the time to treat yourself and do something nice to cheer yourself up. Whether it’s going to your favourite restaurant, visiting a friend or watching your favourite film, make sure you do something you enjoy to take your mind off your results. Stay optimistic and focus on positive things: research shows that people who practise this sort of exercise are healthier and more able to cope with stress and adversity.
5. Put your results into perspective
Stay grounded, don’t panic and take deep breaths. Talk to and reassure yourself that everything will be ok. Boost your self-belief and be constructive and positive in your outlook.
Sleep allows the body and the mind to rebalance. There is a temptation to go out, have late nights, and have a blowout to get the emotions out of your system. This is fine, but make sure you get the balance back in your life. Eat healthily, exercise and try to stick to a bedtime routine to ensure your body and mind can wind down and relax. Try to have at least one hour free from technology and social media before you go to bed to allow yourself to switch off.
Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan is a physiologist, sleep therapist, author and consultant who has specialised in maximising individual and organisational performance for more than 15 years. She has a strong belief that everyone can live healthier and more fulfilling lives by finding optimal energy and balance through sleep. Nerina is committed to helping individuals find unique and inspirational solutions that will help them harness the energy for optimal performance both at work and at home.