I recently got taken out of school to be homeschooled because of my bad anxiety and a traumatic experience that I had at school but now I won’t be able to do my GCSE’s because it’s too expensive to take them out of school and I’m really worried that I won’t have a good future. I really don’t know what to do :(
Hi Eve, thanks for contacting us. There are alternatives to GCSEs, such as apprenticeship schemes which will take you below GCSE level and train you up for the sort of job you want, or BTECs if that would be more affordable. Job experience is also really good, if you can get any of that! You may also be able to look into colleges which offer GCSE retakes, they may be willing to take you on if that's something you'd feel comfortable doing. You could also look into things like counselling which may enable you to feel more comfortable and confident applying to a different school later on. Besides that, have you or your family spoken about the possibility of only taking a few GCSEs, such as Maths, English, and perhaps Science? This may be more affordable, or it may be worth looking into if your parents could get any extra financial help to aid this. Not having qualifications isn't the end of the road, there are other options, such as apprenticeships which I mentioned above, which still offer success. - Emmy
How to handle failing an exam?
Failing exams can be really hard, whether or not you expected a better grade or not originally. You may also be feeling pressure from teachers, peers, and parents to do with your grades, and this can make the situation worse. If you've done all you can, that's important to remember. So longs as you're trying your hardest, that's all you can do and that's something to be proud of. You can also use it as something to learn from, look at where you went wrong and work on improving it, this can give it a more positive spin. Emmy
Prelims are coming up and I’m scared I’m going to fail. How do you handle stress because I still can’t do it!!! I go to Zuni next year and I need to be able to handle it better.
Hi Antonia! I totally understand how much pressure there is when it comes to tests and exams. I know you want to do well, but no number, letter or any grade can define your worth. At the end of the day; everything will be okay.
When dealing with revision I like to prioritise my work. Maybe try making a revision timetable and plan when you are going to study. Remember to leave time for breaks. Put the subject you struggle with most or the subject you want to do the best in first. Within the subject, study the topics you don't understand first rather than going over what you already know.
Make sure you have a tidy place to work, clear out a desk or even if your just sitting on your bed, don't have papers everywhere. Make sure you are comfy and relaxed and have some snacks on hand so you don't have to get up. It's important to have a drink too because this will help you feel better. I like to have a glass of water or tea (herbal tea if it's in the evening as you need to sleep). You could also light a candle to help you relax.
Turn off distractions, don't have the tv on and turn your phone, laptop, or iPad off unless you are using them to study. Electronic devices can be good but you should turn social media and game notifications off. There are lots of apps and learning games you can play that might help you, and quizzes and even practise papers online you can use. I like quizlet and duolingo if you are learning languages.
On the topic of the internet and electronics, I find YouTube a good learning resource. Sometimes it's easier to see and hear someone explain something rather than reading it out of a text book. My favourite study channel is Eve Bennet, but depending on what exams you are doing you may or may not find her helpful.
Making fancy notes and using flash cards is a good way to remember things. Try writing in different coloured pens and even different coloured paper. It has been proven that different colours help people to remember more easily!
Having a friend to help you study has also been helpful for me. Make sure it's a friend who you know will help you focus rather than become a distraction. You can test eachother and share study methods. It will also make you feel less stressed and know that your not alone with the stress of revising.
When you get to uni, try revise as early as you can so you don't have as much to do last minute and try to keep on top of your work. Just try your hardest and take good notes in class.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, treat yourself. Take a bubble bath, watch an episode of your favourite tv show. Have some time to do something you want to do. And remember not to let exams take over your entire life. I comepletly understand how you feel as I have broke down crying over exam stress before, so please know that you are not alone. If you haven't already, try reading some articles on TWE as we have many articles about this. Also, my last tip is to get a good nights sleep the night before! Don't stay up all night revising. I hope some of this helps you, and good luck. At the end of the day, exams aren't the end of the world. -Ella
My dad has recently been diagnosed with heart problems that we know know as angina. I am in the middle of my GCSE's at the moment and this has now panicked me because it leads him to have a higher chance that he will have a heart attack. I have started to cry myself to sleep most nights due to myself being scared that one day I will wake up or come home and him not being there. Me and my family was meant to be going on a big holiday the day after my last exam which was one of the only things keeping me going through the exams but now the holiday is most likely to be cancelled which has formed more stress around me and the family and was really upsetting for me. I know this isn't really a question but I just needed a place to put my thoughts.
This sounds like you are having a very hard time at the moment. GCSES can be extremely hard without an illness in the family, especially having it be your parents, as you must rely on them a lot. I have had a little look on NHS choices, and whilst I am not medically trained at all, I did find it quite interesting so it would be good if you could have a look on there. I can see there are many treatments for his heart problem, and even though you have every right to be very worried about your dad, the doctors wouldn't have him at home if he wasn't stable and safe enough for him to be looked after there. If you could maybe have a chat with him about what would happen if he was having an attack and put a plan together for what you could do if he was in pain, then perhaps the worry will lift slightly? I'm not promising it will make a massive difference to your anxiety, and perhaps you could speak to your dad to make sure he has his phone with him at all times so if the event happens, he could contact someone straight away, or someone around him could.
I'm not promising that any of this will definitely help, but the best thing to do with your worry is to speak to either your dad, or if you're worried it will make him feel guilty, perhaps you could speak to somebody else, wether it's someone in your family or a trusted individual like a teacher or support staff. I hope your GCSES have gone well, and I hope you can speak to somebody about your worries, and hopefully when your dad is feeling a little better, you could book another holiday! and don't forget we are always here for you at TWE, through our social media accounts or even fill in this form again and someone from the team can get back to you. - Kira xx
Sent in via contact form
How do I get exam motivation to be able to sit down and revise? I know in my head that I need to, but when it comes to sitting down and putting the pen to the paper I just dont have the motivation to do it. Instead I waste most of my days away watching shows, other than doing what I know I need to do
This is a common problem with trying to study, and I know for a fact that I have done this many times in the last few weeks. What I would suggest doing is making sure you are in quiet room with no distractions. Make sure that your phone is either in another room on silent, or tuned off completely. If you have to use your computer as a word processor, turn off your internet for a while until you are done, but if you need your computer for research, consider finding the information and printing it off so that that temptation to go on social media is minimum. If you still can't concentrate and find yourself getting distracted, go for a short walk or jog and come back to it after. If it is actually getting motivated to do the studying, think of what might happen if you don't, and prepare a small reward for if you do finish it.
Hope this helps,
Sent in via chat box
Hello, my name is Olivia and I need some help.I am 16 and I have no friends. I have friends in my college but they always ignore me and I don't know I feel so alone, they always ignore me. I just want someone to like me and actually be my friend, it sucks. I have also been feeling down lately, like all the time i feel down and I feel happy when others are around but that's not like real happy, its fake happy as a defense mechanism. It has been really, really bad since I came back from a holiday with my auntie. I was so sad to leave and come home. It really doesn't help my sister is an ASS. Can I just have some advice please? Thanks, Olivia!
ps. I really like your website, it has really helped me and my cousin Nicki!xxo
Hey Olivia I'm Jack.
As someone who has just finished my first year of college and found it hard getting along with my class mates, to the point where I tried to help and get involved but they wouldn't care and would just ignore me. They would never invite me to the college party's they planned, even when they planned them in front of me.
But I found great people in the collage who studied different courses and I found that I got along with them, a couple I already knew from outside of collage. Many of my friends from high school went to a different college but we try talk all the time.
The best way to get stop your friends from ignoring you is talk to them maybe make a group chat and ask why they do. For example, try and find new friends with similar interests. I know this may be difficult but you can get through this. If you ever need extra advice you can always message TWE again.
Anyways good luck hope this helped a bit.
Sent in via email
I'm 16 and just finished my GCSE exams and i'm feeling really depressed and useless. I have no friends or social life. I can't find a part time job. I'm too socially anxious to join any club or summer course. I've become so introverted I can't even bring myself to face the outside world but at the same time I feel trapped inside as life passes me by and everyone else my age are experiencing things like working and dating etc.
I've not even started college yet and I already feel like I've failed at life.
On top of this my self-esteem is so low and I really hate so much about myself and this also holds me back from socializing.
I don't know what to do. I have all this free time and all it's giving me is time alone with my thoughts and self pity and doubt. I really don't know who to ask for help so I hope you can give me some advice.
Hello, my name is Naomi.
I felt the same way when I first finished school, you are definitely not alone. You are not failing at life or anything of the sort! I believe you are going through a state of an existential crisis mixed with depression. This is not something you should be ashamed of but I definitely thing you should speak with your doctor or parents. However, since you are 16, you can go to the doctors alone and asking as you tell them you want the information you give them to be confidential then they will not tell your parents if that is something you are worried about. They will be able to refer you to a mental health team who will speak with you and decide on the best course of treatment for you. This is something that will definitely help you to improve your mental health!
Please don't keep your feelings and thoughts to yourself as they can begin to fester resulting in your mental health getting worse in which will affect you everyday life more than it may already do. You said that you don't have any friends, well college is a great opportunity to make friends. It may be scary and unnerving at first but if you start by smiling at them and then making small talk until you find something in common that you both talk about and bond over. College is nothing like school and everyone is so much nicer!
You don't need a part time job at this age but if you are really set on having one then I suggest that you try making things and selling them on Etsy or ask around for babysitting jobs. They are both relatively easy things to do but you can get quite a bit of money from them.
You could also try dog walking. It's very hard to do things when your self esteem is low but I recommend trying to focus more on the thing/s you do like about yourself or that you can do. You can do this by writing a list of the things you may like about yourself and then every morning, looking in the mirror and complimenting yourself on those things. You could also try to find the positive side of the negative feelings you have towards yourself. This will take some time but please don't give up! You don't have to rush into things and force yourself to be social but you can try taking things slow. You could try going for a short walk, messaging people on Facebook and then slowly progress by smiling at people on your walks. Then you can try waving at people. Then you can try to make small talk with people at college. Then you can begin to express yourself a little until you feel comfortable with the people in your class. It's all about doing things at a pace your a comfortable with!
You sound like a lovely person and I'm so proud of you for asking us for help. I recommend that next you speak with a doctor.
I hope this helped.
I am 14 , turning 15 in September. I am starting my freshman year of high school in august and I'm really nervous . Why I am asking for help/ advice is because I don't feel like I have any friends and starting high school without friends sounds horrible.
I used to have friends but we grew distant over the beginning of summer and now I feel like I don't have anyone and I really don't. I'm good at making friends and I usually have a lot . I'm a really friendly and outgoing person so making friends isn't a problem . what I'm really asking for advice on is , how do I survive my first week(s) of highschool without close friends ?
I also need tips on how to stay positive while going through this phase of not having friends . I'm usually a very happy person and outgoing as previously mentioned but sometimes when I think of not having friends and I see my usual classmates / former friends posting fun pictures with their friends on social media , I get bummed and sad because I used to have that but now I'm lonely and feel left out from just everyone .
If you can please , give me all the advice you can because I really need it .
When I started high school i was so scared and excited at the same time, as someone who was bullied throughout my last school and my best friend drifting away from me, I was so nervous, I though i would be alone and I didn't know what to do. With only me, my 'best friend' and two other girls going there i knew i was going to have to make friends.
I was right about my best friend leaving me, but that didn't matter because so many people had no-one from their last school and I promise you, you will meet someone, everyone is in the same boat. You are not alone. Plus you will most probably meet someone to call your best friend throughout high school.
As for keeping positive, I know how you feel sometimes i feel like i have no friends, when in reality i do, but whenever i go through these phases i do a few things to keep myself positive.
Things i do are:
I hope this helped, I'm not really the best writer, that is why i stick to behind the scenes work, I hope high school turns out alright, and I hope you make some friends!
Sent in VIA email
Teenagers With Experience,
I found out about your website in the newspaper my Grandmother showed me (she thinks I'm 'depressed' so she wants me to get help) and I just want to congratulate you on what an amazing website this is. I hate talking to adults, I have a school councillor and he doesn't help at all so hopefully talking to a teenager will. Ugh I'm blabbering, sorry, let me get on with it.
When I was 13 my mother sadly passed away. It was a rough time for me was my dad left when I was 2 so the only person I could go to was my grandmother. Me and my grandma fought daily because of her death, it separated our bond. I missed a lot of school also, so I am very far behind in lots of my key lessons. After two months of battling depression me and my grandma got me a councillor at my school, I still talk to him today but its no help. He hasn't gone through any loss like this, he can't relate to me. Anyway, I never self harmed-Im against that majorly, but I had constant suicidal thoughts. I didn't want to be in a world where I couldn't see my mother! I made friends and they're still with me today but my old friends left me because I left school. When I came back they said they didn't want to be friends as they have met new people now. I understand it though. I don't know what to do now, my grandma is in and out of hospital and my grandad passed away before i was born. If I loose my nan then I'll have to go with my uncle and his evil wife (seriously she hates me!) and I can't deal with that. Please help me?
From Paris H x
I'm Ailsa - I'm the one answering your email because I can relate to quite a few of the things you mentioned. First of all I'm so sorry for your current situation, you must be finding it really hard, but I'm going to do my best to help somehow xx
It's so awful to lose someone so close to you, especially a family member. It leaves a hole in your heart and it leaves you feeling down for a long time. This is something that has to heal with time, but remember there are plenty of people on this site to support you. It sucks your counsellor doesn't understand and can't relate to you - having someone to empathise with really helps. In my school they have a bunch of therapists they can call in for various reasons outside of the school counsellor but few people know about it unless they need it. Maybe you could talk to a teacher or head of year about seeing another counsellor? It can take a few tries to find the right person, trust me I know this xD
Can I just say that I am so glad that you haven't self harmed! It's so harmful and it causes problems that you honestly don't have time for as you have so much else on your plate <3 I'm glad you're against it, you should be xx However, the suicidal thoughts are obviously very serious :( I can majorly relate to those, I get them on a daily basis and I have actually attempted a few times. It really does feel like there's no hope for you left and that leaving the earth is the only option. But trust me, there are so so so many reasons to keep living, it's just hard to see that when you're in such a dark place. I could talk to you about this in so much more detail because there's just so much you have to live for! Since I don't know you personally, right now I can't help you find reasons for yourself, but if we get into contact we can text or something and it could be really helpful for you. Just as an example, when I was in my darkest places some of the smallest things had the most meaning to me - like a rare bit of sunshine or when my cat came and snuggled with me. They seem pretty pointless but if you can hold on to the tiny things in life that give you hope, then it's easier to find more reasons to live. I hope I made sense here xD
I also know how it feels for a parent to abandon you. I hope you understand that it's got nothing to do with you personally. When you are a toddler, you haven't really developed into your own person yet, so your dad didn't have a clue what he was leaving behind. No one deserves to be left by a parent like that and emotions like anger, sadness and guilt are completely normal to feel when this has happened. If you ever need to talk about this in more detail, I am here for you xx
I'm sorry to hear that you have argued a lot with your nan - she's your guardian and you should have a good relationship with her. I hope she gets well, be strong and remember that doctors are amazing at their jobs these days and the likelihood is that you'll be able to spend a lot more time with her and hopefully you won't have to go and live with your uncle X
You may be depressed from what you've said and what I understand; I think you should go to a doctor. They can provide other counselling which could work better than the one at school, they can refer you to other mental health services that can help, or even prescribe medication. You'll probably find that they are really helpful, it would be a good idea to ask your nan to take you to the doctor.
As for your old 'friends' they don't sound nice at all. A good friend would always stay by your side regardless if new people came about. I hope your new friends are better, you're probably better off without the old ones. It doesn't matter what problems you're having - you don't deserve to be left and it's so unreasonable that they did that to you.
Finally, about the missing school. I've missed absolutely loads of school too because of my health! It's confusing and stressful to try and jump back in but remember there's loads of help for you in your school, you just have to ask. Or, if you're in the UK and in primary/secondary school, people like me on TWE can help you with school work since most of us have been through this :)
I really hope this helps somehow, if you ever need to talk to me feel free, you can reach me via the TWE website or Facebook page
Hey, um I'm kinda worried because I have a load of exams coming up and they mean quite a bit. My core science ones are in a few weeks (17th, 19th and 25th May) and I'm really struggling. We did some mocks and I got all Cs when I'm supposed to be getting all As. The thing is, I was off for about 3 weeks recovering from an op and I'm really behind. But I know how disappointed my family will be if I do rubbish and I don't know what to do. I have frequent panic attacks over the exams too. Sorry for bothering but will you please help?
Remember, whether or not you get an objectively good mark, trying your best is what matters.
Try drawing or writing out your fears and worries and then burning them. It feels like your burning your worries
When revising don't listen to music, unless it's instrumental. Try drawing out link maps and mind maps to refer to. If necessary, blu-tack them to the wall.
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