Confidence Friendships Mental Health

Failed exams? Here’s How To Deal With It When Everyone Else Has Passed

The time has arrived. You’ve collected your results with all you pals, ready to open them before starting the last phase of school before you leave it behind for good. It’s an exciting day, but if you haven’t done as well as you had hoped it can be pretty rubbish. Especially if all your pals have crushed it. We know this, so we decided to bring you a list of things you can do to cope when all your friends have crushed it, and maybe you’ve not. 

1) Deal with you first

Opening the envelope to disappointment can feel completely crap, especially when it feels like everyone else is all smiles. Take yourself out of the room and away from friends for five minutes to have a breather and let it sink in. If you have to, just mention to a friend that you are going to call your parents as you promised you would as soon as you got your results. They will have reason to suspect you aren’t happy and it will save on the awkward questions. 

2) Breathe 

Getting upset or panicking at thi moment in time is a perfectly natural reaction to what is going on. But, the important thing to remember is that this is not the end of the world, and there are so many workarounds these days that you will 100% end up in a great place. But, we know this isn’t going to help right now. Find yourself a quiet spot to breathe through the panic and emotion. Close your eyes, breathe in slowly for four seconds, hold for one, and breathe out for another four. Repeat this four or five times until you feel a bit calmer. 

3) Speak to a trusted adult about how you feel 

Give your parents, older sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparents or family friend a call when you can and take ten minutes to explain the situation in a place where you won’t be overheard. Let them know how you feel about this. If they can’t offer advice straight away, they will definitely be able to lend an ear to your situation as well as some words of support. 

4) Give yourself time to process

It’s important that you have a bit of time to process what has happened, think about what might have gone wrong, and consider what it means for you. It can be very tempting to pretend it didn;t happen and jump back into hanging out with your pals as they celebrate, but this will only make you feel rubbish further down the line. Take a few hours after opening to go home, have a cup of tea with your parents and talk about it, or go for a run or walk.

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5) Have a chat with teachers about what this might mean

When you are still at school, pull one of your favourite teachers for a chat about what happened. They will already have seen your results before you got them, so they will probably be expecting you to have a few questions. Ask if you can talk about it and take some time to come up with a plan for you. Whether your next step was apprenticeship, sixth form or college, have someone who knows a lot about this kind of situation help you map out your future now. 

6) Avoid areas where students will congregate for a while 

It might seem weird to your pals that you;ve disappeared on them but, trust us, being around huge groups of students is not a great idea straight after getting results. Everyone will be talking about what they got and where they are headed off to now, and it won’t make you feel any better about the situation you’re in. 

7) Let a close friend know what’s happened 

Choose a friend that won’t tell anyone what’s happened if you ask them not to, and talk about it. It will feel good to discuss it with someone who has just gone through the same process, is aware of how hard your worked and it likely to be honest with you. Plus, having someone know why you wondered off and why you might not be quite right is a great way to have someone on your side for the next few days. 

8) After taking time, let yourself be happy for your friends

Once you’ve taken a bit of a moment to let it all sink in, and talk to some people about how you are feeling and where you want to go from here, it’s important to be happy and try to enjoy yourself. Plus, some of your best friends might have done well and, whilst that might be hard for you to deal with, you know how hard they worked to achieve what they did. So, try to be happy for them too. 

9) Don’t avoid celebrations entirely 

Remember, this is the end of five years of hard work throughout secondary school, and whatever the paper says it is time to celebrate with friends. It might be the last time you all get to hang out for a while if everyone is going their separate ways, and avoiding the fun altogether might end up making you feel worse in the long run. 

Need to talk to someone about your results? Go to the Ditch the Label Community here for advice.