Six ways to help those results day nerves

student conversation

How to keep your cool ahead of the big day

It is completely normal for the nerves to kick in once you’ve finished your exams, but the good thing is you're not alone. Even students who appear outwardly confident can find waiting for grades a worrying time.

Feeling anxious about your results is not a nice feeling – but it’s very common. The nerves you feel are a reflection on the hard work you have put into your studies. It’s a sign that you care about what you get!

There are plenty of ways to help the anxiety on the build up to results day. We spoke to the admissions team at Liverpool Hope University to get their help on six effective ways to stay calm in the run-up to results day.

1. Let it all out

It doesn't help to keep your feelings bottled up. A problem shared is a problem halved! Talking to someone you trust and feel comfortable with about your worries can really help. 

Your mum or dad could be the best option. But sometimes anxiety comes from a fear of letting our parents down. If that's the case, try talking to an older family member, sibling or teacher.

If you feel there's nobody you can turn to, you might consider making an appointment with a counsellor through Relate or accessing web-based counselling through organisations like The Mix.

2. Have a backup plan

By now you will have fallen in love with your firm university choice. You've mapped out the next three years. You know the course you'll do, where you'll live and the clubs you'll join. But have you planned what you'll do if you don't quite get the grades you need? 

It may be difficult to think about right now, but it’s a really good idea to have back-up plans in place. It can help put your mind at ease and reduce the uncertainty of the situation. 

Even if things don’t turn out exactly as you hoped for on the day, you’ll be okay because you’ve planned for this and know what’s going to happen next. You’ll thank yourself in the long run, and if you don’t need to use that backup plan, then even better.

Don't forget about Clearing. Clearing isn’t just for those who don’t get their first choice, but also for those who change their mind on a course, location or exceed their expected grades. 

student working on a plan b

3. Get together with friends

Your friends are probably feeling the same as you are about results day (even if some of them don't admit it). You’re all in the same boat, so why not get together and support each other while doing something fun? 

A day trip to the beach, a night out at the cinema or perhaps a weekend away might be a great way to take your mind off getting your results. It may also be the last time you are all together for a while depending on where they have applied for university, so be sure to make the most of your summer. 

4. Step out into nature

Getting outside and taking a break from screens or your routine can be a great way to tackle those nerves. Going for a walk in a park or forest, heading to the beach or taking a bike ride through the countryside can do wonders for anxiety and stress.

Being around nature can increase serotonin (the 'feel good’ hormone') and decrease cortisol (the 'stress hormone'), boosting your mood and calming your nerves. Try to get outside every day, even just for 10 minutes. You’ll feel a real difference.

5. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help manage stress and anxiety. It involves bringing your attention to the present moment, focusing on your breath and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings - letting go of any past or future thoughts. This benefits you as it directly works to calm the sympathetic nervous system, leaving you feeling peaceful and relaxed. 

There are lots of resources out there to teach you mindfulness skills. Apps such as Headspace and Stop.Breathe.Think offer simple (and free!) exercises to calm and focus the mind. Other activities that can help include colouring, sudoku or crosswords.

6. Focus on the things you can control

Many motivational speakers will tell you to focus on the things that are within your control and to let go of those that aren’t. This situation is no different - you have done everything you can. Thinking excessively about your results won’t change the outcome, but it will cause you stress and worry.

So, give yourself a break, enjoy your summer, and try our tips to stop freaking out and know that no matter what happens on results day, you will have tools and techniques to help you cope.

About our sponsor

Swansea University

Liverpool Hope University offer the best of both worlds; the opportunity to study and live on a beautiful, safe, friendly campus while also having the advantages of one of Europe’s most vibrant and renowned cities on our doorstep.

Students can choose from a wide range of degrees, both as single and combined honours. Liverpool Hope has two main teaching campuses: Hope Park is situated in a leafy suburb of Liverpool and is a mini-educational village, and the Creative Campus in Liverpool city centre, which is home to the creative and performing arts subjects. Both campuses have seen major investment in recent years, so traditional architecture now sits beside contemporary buildings and facilities. 

The University places great emphasis on bringing together research excellence and top-quality teaching. This is facilitated by a community of academics and scholars who are of the highest calibre.

Alongside our academic reputation, we are equally proud of our supportive pastoral care. As one of our students, you will receive academic and personal support along your academic journey. This research-informed teaching, paired with support in developing employability skills enables our students to develop into well-rounded and employable graduates.

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