I'm gonna go over the edge if I can't fix this

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iwriteletters
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Hi,

I'm currently doing a levels. So far I am an A in Media Studies, a B in Film Studies which is good. But in psychology, I'm a D/C. I really thought I'd be interested in psychology but it's not at all what it seemed like and now I get major anxiety whenever I enter the classroom. I'm good at little things in it but the subject overall makes me very stressed and anxious thinking I won't get better next year.

Since September I've began having issues with my mental health again and I'm constantly worrying about two people very close to me who we're on the verge doing something irreversible.

The last time I asked to retake they said they only allow it in extreme cases (the death of a parent was the example they gave me, so I immediately thought I had no chance). Recently, I got a new tutor and was told that in cases where mental health has been involved they will make a consideration, and one of my friends is now retaking because of this, so now I have hope!

If I had to carry on into year 13 with these subjects I don't know what I'd do. I'd really love some advice on what to say to convince them to let me retake, because they don't really seem to listen and I need help.
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Roasted Potato
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I'm sorry about your MH and your friends MH. It can be really rough! Is there a subject you prefer that you could take in year 13? Does your school have a counsellor that you could talk with about your concerns such as psychology, mental helath and your friends. If the counsellor could back you up about it all that would be a tremendous help for you, not just concerning your a levels but in general.
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ArcticChimera
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Hey OP

Do you mean retake Year 12?
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iwriteletters
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(Original post by ArcticChimera)
Hey OP

Do you mean retake Year 12?
Hi! Yes I did, thanks for asking haha
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iwriteletters
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(Original post by Roasted Potato)
I'm sorry about your MH and your friends MH. It can be really rough! Is there a subject you prefer that you could take in year 13? Does your school have a counsellor that you could talk with about your concerns such as psychology, mental helath and your friends. If the counsellor could back you up about it all that would be a tremendous help for you, not just concerning your a levels but in general.
Hi! Yes, I do see a counsellor in school, thats a good idea! I really wish I could restart and take either english combined or english literature along with media and film.
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ArcticChimera
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(Original post by iwriteletters)
Hi! Yes I did, thanks for asking haha
Gotchu!

There's a chance with a lot of work that you could bring your C/D up to at least a B in Psych. However, it is clearly affecting your mental health.

I had quite a time with A-Levels as well, they are extremely stressful, and despite anything you've been told, you are so justified in feeling like this.
If you truly feel retaking is for you, then pursue it as much as you can. Explain just how bad you're feeling and hype up whatever subject you'd like to do in replacement. My best advice is to pick a subject you're good at above all else, it automatically makes it more enjoyable (mine was English).

If they can't accommodate you in retaking, you have a couple options.

1. Continue with all 3 of your current subjects into Y13. Work your ass off at Psych and try to focus on what you enjoy about it rather than getting a grade. Your current grades, even with the C/D are good; if university is on your mind then many unis would take you based on this, seriously. But as I say, be kind to yourself as you're already doing pretty well. And don't compare yourself with how others are doing in the classroom as you all have different goals.

2. Leave Sixth-form and pursue outside opportunities. Apply to college, or take up an apprenticeship; there are many different fields you can go into. However, if you planned on going to university, then obviously A-Levels are the obvious route.

If they let you retake, I can see you're thinking of English Lit or a combined. English Literature was by far my favourite A-Level. Lots of essay writing, as expected, you have to remember a few quotes here and there; if you have a natural flair for English, you will adore it, you have a lot of freedom with coursework, yet I found it to be less work than both my other A-Levels.
Whatever happens, your mental health comes first and foremost. I'd spend time now looking into alternative options in case they turn down your proposal.
I agree that involving adults who know you well such as your counsellor might help; just be confident when you tell them you want this.

Good luck + please take extra care of yourself, you will get through this I promise
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iwriteletters
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(Original post by ArcticChimera)
Gotchu!

There's a chance with a lot of work that you could bring your C/D up to at least a B in Psych. However, it is clearly affecting your mental health.

I had quite a time with A-Levels as well, they are extremely stressful, and despite anything you've been told, you are so justified in feeling like this.
If you truly feel retaking is for you, then pursue it as much as you can. Explain just how bad you're feeling and hype up whatever subject you'd like to do in replacement. My best advice is to pick a subject you're good at above all else, it automatically makes it more enjoyable (mine was English).

If they can't accommodate you in retaking, you have a couple options.

1. Continue with all 3 of your current subjects into Y13. Work your ass off at Psych and try to focus on what you enjoy about it rather than getting a grade. Your current grades, even with the C/D are good; if university is on your mind then many unis would take you based on this, seriously. But as I say, be kind to yourself as you're already doing pretty well. And don't compare yourself with how others are doing in the classroom as you all have different goals.

2. Leave Sixth-form and pursue outside opportunities. Apply to college, or take up an apprenticeship; there are many different fields you can go into. However, if you planned on going to university, then obviously A-Levels are the obvious route.

If they let you retake, I can see you're thinking of English Lit or a combined. English Literature was by far my favourite A-Level. Lots of essay writing, as expected, you have to remember a few quotes here and there; if you have a natural flair for English, you will adore it, you have a lot of freedom with coursework, yet I found it to be less work than both my other A-Levels.
Whatever happens, your mental health comes first and foremost. I'd spend time now looking into alternative options in case they turn down your proposal.
I agree that involving adults who know you well such as your counsellor might help; just be confident when you tell them you want this.

Good luck + please take extra care of yourself, you will get through this I promise
Thank you so much for that, I really needed to hear it. That's actually the most comforted I've felt it a long time!

I have another question if you don't mind answering as your last bit of advice was really helpful! There's an option to carry on in Year 13 with my two subjects and a change from Psych to English combined, and if I fail that year I think I can retake.

Do you think retaking year 12 with a fresh start is better or should I go into year 13 and retake if that goes wrong?
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ArcticChimera
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(Original post by iwriteletters)
Thank you so much for that, I really needed to hear it. That's actually the most comforted I've felt it a long time!

I have another question if you don't mind answering as your last bit of advice was really helpful! There's an option to carry on in Year 13 with my two subjects and a change from Psych to English combined, and if I fail that year I think I can retake.

Do you think retaking year 12 with a fresh start is better or should I go into year 13 and retake if that goes wrong?
I'm glad I've made you feel a bit more at ease about this; you're definitely not alone in this situation!

I would quiz anyone in the English department about how much you've missed and whether it would be possible to begin catching up over summer. Everyone works differently. Work-load wise, it would be possible to do so, however you also have to take into account little hints and tips and guidance from an actual English teacher that you won't be equipped with. Look hard into the course you'd be taking, and see whether it's a "catch up over a few weeks hard work" type thing or a "I would really like to study this for a whole year" kind of thing.

Obviously it's appealing to head straight into Y13 with your 2 subjects and then an English combined; and yes, people have done that before and succeeded. If you want a completely stable route, however, retaking Y12 and starting afresh has its benefits. You will not only have the full span of learning English with the full guidance that everyone else will have, but you will also strengthen the skills from Media & Film studies you've already got; and may even achieve higher grades in them with the extra year experience. And there's no reason to feel hesitant about taking another year before the next step - I am currently on my gap year and heading to university in September, and it hasn't bothered me a bit really! Lots of people take lots of different paths towards the next step after sixth form and that makes life just that bit more interesting.


Have a long chat with any supportive adults who know you and your abilities well around you. If you feel you may fail Year 13 with a brand new subject, consider retaking Y12, but obviously discuss it first. If you feel like you could do Y13 with English combined, go for it, really. I will tell you that Y13 moves more fast paced than Y12 - however this means that content moves a little more slower in the first year - you may be able to catch up. If you don't mind postponing uni or whatever your next step is, by another year, then retaking Y12 is the least stressful route, and may be best for you. That's just my advice from a fellow stressed-out student who has been there

Either way; do not be afraid to fail. You can only give it your best, and life has a funny way of working out even if you do fail; you are doing better than you think you are.
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iwriteletters
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#9
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(Original post by ArcticChimera)
I'm glad I've made you feel a bit more at ease about this; you're definitely not alone in this situation!

I would quiz anyone in the English department about how much you've missed and whether it would be possible to begin catching up over summer. Everyone works differently. Work-load wise, it would be possible to do so, however you also have to take into account little hints and tips and guidance from an actual English teacher that you won't be equipped with. Look hard into the course you'd be taking, and see whether it's a "catch up over a few weeks hard work" type thing or a "I would really like to study this for a whole year" kind of thing.

Obviously it's appealing to head straight into Y13 with your 2 subjects and then an English combined; and yes, people have done that before and succeeded. If you want a completely stable route, however, retaking Y12 and starting afresh has its benefits. You will not only have the full span of learning English with the full guidance that everyone else will have, but you will also strengthen the skills from Media & Film studies you've already got; and may even achieve higher grades in them with the extra year experience. And there's no reason to feel hesitant about taking another year before the next step - I am currently on my gap year and heading to university in September, and it hasn't bothered me a bit really! Lots of people take lots of different paths towards the next step after sixth form and that makes life just that bit more interesting.


Have a long chat with any supportive adults who know you and your abilities well around you. If you feel you may fail Year 13 with a brand new subject, consider retaking Y12, but obviously discuss it first. If you feel like you could do Y13 with English combined, go for it, really. I will tell you that Y13 moves more fast paced than Y12 - however this means that content moves a little more slower in the first year - you may be able to catch up. If you don't mind postponing uni or whatever your next step is, by another year, then retaking Y12 is the least stressful route, and may be best for you. That's just my advice from a fellow stressed-out student who has been there

Either way; do not be afraid to fail. You can only give it your best, and life has a funny way of working out even if you do fail; you are doing better than you think you are.
Thank you! I'm genuinely really grateful that you responded, I feel a lot more structured now that I've read what you said, it's cleared my head a lot. I hope you enjoy university and I bet you'll do incredible. You seem very wise, I don't doubt for a second you'll have a great time!
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ArcticChimera
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(Original post by iwriteletters)
Thank you! I'm genuinely really grateful that you responded, I feel a lot more structured now that I've read what you said, it's cleared my head a lot. I hope you enjoy university and I bet you'll do incredible. You seem very wise, I don't doubt for a second you'll have a great time!
No problem! Thank you, I also wish you the best of luck, and if you have any more questions, feel free to drop me a message. But I think you've got this!
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iwriteletters
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(Original post by ArcticChimera)
No problem! Thank you, I also wish you the best of luck, and if you have any more questions, feel free to drop me a message. But I think you've got this!
Thanks, I really appreciate that! I'll take you up on that
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