This week I just wanted to touch on something that I believe needs to be spoken about more widely.
My little sister has just finished her GCSEs and to say the experience for her was traumatic is an understatement. This brought back memories for me of my days in school, as well as university exams and assignments. There is so much stress around these things it can make people seriously ill. There is so much pressure to get amazing grades, and that just is not possible for some people. No matter how hard they study they just won’t be able to perform well in exam conditions. This DOES NOT mean they are not clever! Some of the most intelligent people I know failed all their GCSEs.
I think it needs to be said that although studying is great and can really further your career… it is not the only option. Academia will not be for everyone! Please always prioritise your health above anything else. If you believe that you cannot deal with the stress of these situations do some serious thinking before you go down that path. Mental illness and suicide numbers are growing and therefore we need to seriously rethink the tasks we put ourselves through daily. It is okay to not be good at some things – “you can’t win em all” as my grandad says. Find the things that you find enjoyable and that you are naturally talented at. NEVER force yourself to do things you know could be detrimental to your health.
If you simply can’t do exams don’t feel bad about it! There are so many people that are exactly the same. The people that are good at exams may not be as creative or talented as you in other aspects. Find your strengths and don’t dwell on your weaknesses.
Also, a friendly reminder that if you are struggling with any of these issues know that you’re not alone and the first step is talking about it. Don’t suffer in silence.