Don’t let the stress of waiting for results ruin your summer. We’ve got plenty of hints and tips to help you keep the nerves at bay and enjoy your summer break.

Try to be a bit more mindful

It’s so easy to get caught up in a loop of negative thoughts about what might happen on Results Day. You find yourself playing different scenarios over and over again in your head where it all goes wrong. This is often referred to as “catastrophising”. Don’t worry, as you won’t be the only one thinking this way!

Mindfulness is a way of managing things like catastrophising, anxiety or stress by paying more attention to the present moment – your feelings and thoughts, along with the world around you. It can help you to take a step back from your negative thoughts and see that they don’t have to control you.

How to start practicing mindfulness

There’s loads of different ways to start practicing a bit of mindfulness, such as:

  • Start to notice what’s going on in your surroundings and wake up your senses. How does the air feel going past you, what can you smell and what noises can you hear? Look up and see things from a different angle. By paying attention to something around you, it can help give you a new perspective and focus you on the here and now. Yesterday has gone, and you don’t know and can’t control what tomorrow is – so just be present right now.
  • Try new things that’ll will help you to notice different things in the world. Why not walk a different route to the shops, people-watch from a café or visit an art gallery?
  • Practice some mindful meditation. Take some time out to pay attention to your breathing, sensations across your body and your thoughts.

If you want to know a bit more about mindfulness, here’s a couple of useful sites:

Mental Health Foundation online mindfulness course

Mind’s mindful exercises and tips

You can also find other sources of support on the University of Stirling website.

Learn some breathing techniques

By learning some daily exercises for breathing, you can help to keep calm or reduce any anxiety.

The NHS Moodzone site has a great exercise to start with.

Speak to someone

Don’t sit and worry about things on your own. Talk to someone. It can help you to release some of the tension you’re feeling, and might help you to put things into perspective.

If you can’t speak to who you want to right away, try the “best friend” test. Ask yourself what advice your best friend would give you for each concern, and take that action.

Students talking to each other

It’s good to talk things out with someone else

You could also write a letter, a song or a blog to yourself or a friend about what’s going on with you right now. Seeing your feelings written down can often bring you clarity.

Support organisations

There’s also many organisations that have people you can talk to:

Enjoy yourself

It’s your summer holidays after all! Reward yourself for all the hard work and effort you put into your exams.

  • Have a day out with your friends – it’s important to stay connected to others
  • Take a road trip
  • Have a whole day of relaxation by watching movies or boxsets, reading or just doing nothing
  • Learn some new skills that might help you at uni, like cooking

Or just go for it, take a leap into the unknown and do something you’ve always wanted to do!

With COVID-19 still very much a part of our lives at the moment, please ensure you stick to the latest government information and keep yourself and others safe.

Students sightseeing in Edinburgh.

Get out and about by enjoying some fun sightseeing!

Exercise and eat well

It’s a well-known fact that doing some exercise can improve your mood and reduce stress.  You don’t need to hit the gym every day, but just get out and have a walk, go to a yoga class or have a swim. Doing some exercise during the day can often help you get a better night’s sleep.

Kettlebell exercise class

Kettlebell exercise class

Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet over the holidays. You can protect your feelings of wellbeing by getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, as well as keeping yourself hydrated. Remember to start the day with breakfast.

Be prepared

Take some time out to ensure you’re prepared for Results Day and what might happen. Get your Plan B written. There may still be opportunities for you in Clearing or other routes into university. Or maybe it’s time to take that gap year, where you can build up your skills by volunteering or travelling.

It may not be good news on Results Day, but this doesn’t have to be a disaster. It can be an opportunity to think about different options. With the benefit of hindsight, plenty of students have realised that in the end, Plan B turned out to be a better option for them.

Finally…

On Results Day, before you look at your phone, open the envelope or look online, just take some deep breaths to ground yourself. Then, be brave and go for it!

Remember: not getting the results you wanted doesn’t mean you can’t change your future for the better!

See our Clearing opportunities.