The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 27th April, 2020 – Ease Leaving Cert Angst
Have you ever had the ‘Leaving Cert Nightmare’? It’s a common dream many people have when their unconscious revisits the stress of their final school exams. I have it on average once a year and it usually consists of me being a fully-fledged adult with all the responsibilities I have now whilst trying to study for the exams at the same time! I have a publisher’s deadline to finish my second book and it evokes similar feelings; no matter what I am doing, I feel I should be writing. Leaving cert students probably feel they should be studying.
But that is just it, isn’t it? Having a deadline makes it endurable, dare I say it, maybe even enjoyable. A goal to be reached, light at the end of the tunnel when the pressure will lift.
At last, the leaving cert students of 2020 have been informed that the exams will commence on 29th July bringing some certainty to an already uncertain situation – Covid19 has compounded an already stressful milestone into a situation none of us could have dreamt of.
Being in a state of lockdown is, I believe, hardest for the young and old. They are both vulnerable in different ways and so it is our job as a society collectively to help them as much as we can.
If you are a student doing exams this year or if your child niece or nephew is then please read below and share the top five concerns and how to ease the angst they cause.
Top 5 Concerns
1. Being worried about your future as you have worked so hard and been focused on these exams for a long time.
Uncertainty is part of life so building resilience and learning that things often don’t go according to plan is a hard lesson to learn but one that will help you in all areas of your life.
You can look back on this time and know that you lived through a historical event. You will also have some amazing stories to share with future generations.
2. The loss of your normal routine, social life, independence, sports and hobbies.
Without all the usual ways of relieving stress it can be very hard to cope. This is why creating a routine for yourself, Monday – Friday is essential. Make sure to care for your body, mind and soul in the routine, so take adequate time to exercise, sleep, socialise online, as well as study.
3. Loss of motivation
Being stuck at home without your peer and teacher support is challenging and can create feelings of paralysis and hopelessness. In addition, the pressure to be self-disciplined can be hard and can create more stress. This is why getting into a routine is so important.
What can really make a difference is talking to someone about how you feel; a trusted adult, parent, grand-parent, aunt or uncle, or anyone who you feel will listen to you without judgment. Expressing how you feel helps release the build-up of tension and helps you to get your mojo back!
4. Family Issues
Perhaps you have concerns over your parents or grandparents getting the virus and dying. This is really hard and something we all feel. If they are healthy and well, focus on that. If someone you love has been ill or has died recently, please talk to your school and explain what is happening.
Perhaps your family is struggling financially, especially if your parents have lost their jobs and now you are worried about the impact this will have on your future, for example, going to college. Again, remain hopeful that once restrictions are slowly lifted, the economy will begin to recover.
Perhaps your parents are front-line workers and you are left to look after younger children at home so that there’s not much time to study. Again, you will need to speak to your school to outline what is happening. With the delay in the start date for the exams, there is a little bit more time to study. As much as you can, use this time and turn it into a positive.
5. Feeling you are being robbed of the closing weeks of your schooling – no grad night, no goodbyes, no debs.
It’s all a very anticlimactic and strange time for you. This will pass and you will eventually get closure on your school years, later than normal but that will make it more memorable. When you are reunited with your friends it will feel even more special, you will come together stronger than ever before.
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Sending love and much light,
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