The Leaving Cert is nearly over, college exams are done with and now the dreaded waiting period begins. You can keep yourself up at night going round and round in your head imagining all the possible scenarios in which things may not go as you wanted, especially if you’re not sure how well you did, you imagine your future is ruined and you’ll never get to where you want to be…. But you can help yourself get out of this spiral. Caitríona Ní Chonaill has 3 tips to help you stop ruminating on those results until you have them in front of you.

  • Live and let go:
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The answers are now written in black and white and out of your hands. You won’t change the answer you think you got wrong on question 5c by worrying about it at 3 am. It can be difficult, but accepting that what’s done is done and can now not be changed is one of the best ways to give yourself peace of mind and rid yourself of waking up with middle-of-the-night sweats. Reminding yourself that you did your best with the resources you had, you tried your best and that’s all you can do. Take some deep breaths (yes I know you’ve heard it before but it genuinely does help to calm your nervous system) any time you feel yourself start to spiral. The feelings you’re having are a reflection of the work you put in and show that you care about your own future and improving your skills, which can only be a good thing.

  • Talk it out:
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This is the point that you lean on your friends and family. They were there to support you through the stressful exam period, so will be able to support you when you’ve convinced yourself you’re going to be unemployed because you didn’t swallow your textbook. There is truth in the phrase “a problem shared is a problem halved”, as giving voice to your concerns gives you a chance to work through them bit by bit and question their validity. I can guarantee that the world will not end if your average grade goes up or down slightly. Keeping a journal or diary as a safe space to vent can also be beneficial, particularly, if, like me, you tend to have your worst future-proofing problem spirals in the middle of the night. Being able to spill all your worries and fears onto a page that can’t judge you is a great feeling and can give relief from the thoughts whizzing around your brain.

  • Focus on the positives:
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Take advantage of the fact that you no longer have to sit and stare at your books or be surrounded by other frantic students in the library for hours on end. Whatever you may be doing this summer, whether working, traveling, or just chilling at home, appreciate the time you have to spend doing something different. Consider picking up a new hobby, taking more exercise, and spending more time in nature and the current good weather while it lasts, go for a coffee with your friends knowing you are free of a study schedule. This will also help you to come back to the next academic year (if this isn’t your final year) with a clear head and a new perspective and enthusiasm for whatever you’re studying.

With these tips, hopefully, some of your results anxiety can be alleviated and you can enjoy your study-free time with a new perspective!