Kerry Ann-Randle, BU’s Head of Student Wellbeing, shares some practical tips on managing uncertainty after your exams, and advice on problem-solving your next steps.
For many students the end of the academic year can bring feelings of uncertainty. What will my exams results be? What does this mean for my career? What shall I do over the summer? Have I got enough money to do what I want over the summer? Here are some top tips to help you process some of these questions.
What to do while waiting for exam results
- Nothing can be done until the results are in so get busy, doing or thinking about other things. Worrying can be very exhausting and stop you from doing some of things that you like to do - you may find printing or saving a copy of the worry tree helpful.
- Be kind to yourself - make time to enjoy the summer with friends and family, reconnect with the things you haven't had time to do during the demands of your study.
- Add your results date to your diary and think about the way you want to open your results - do you want to share them with coursemates, friends or family, or just keep them to yourself.
- Be open-minded. Each result is part of a bigger picture and there are lots of different skills you will have learnt at university that can build your career, not just the academic results. If you don’t do as well as you expected, be kind to yourself and know that there are many more opportunities and experiences to expand your knowledge and understanding, including volunteering.
What to do next
If you have finished your degree or are having a break before your next course, you might be worrying about what your next steps are. We often recommend using pen and paper to write down pros and cons for different options, and this may help you to see your choices more clearly and objectively. You may also choose to share this with a family member or friend to help make decisions about what to do next. This 'From problems to solutions' guide is also very helpful to break down the step-by-step process to finding your way forward.
BU's Careers & Employability Team have organised two weeks of activity between 21 June and 3 July to support you as you near the end of your studies at BU. During 'Focus on your Future' fortnight you'll have the opportunity to join online webinars providing specific advice for job hunting, identifying and promoting your skills as well as tips to look after your wellbeing. You'll also have the opportunity to book a 1:1 session with a careers advisor for more personalised support. You can find out more and book your place on MyCareerHub.
There are so many websites, apps and forums and it's not easy to know which online spaces are safe to use!
All BU students have free access to Togetherall, an online mental health support service available 24/7. It's completely anonymous meaning you can express yourself freely and openly, safe in the knowledge that professionally trained 'wall guides' are on hand monitoring the community. You will benefit from self-help programmes, resources and peer support. There is also a range of useful guidance and resources specifically about the Covid-19 pandemic available to you. This can be a good resource if you're not sure about contacting us or while you are away from Bournemouth. You can find out more and how to register on the BU website.
There is also a range of other external websites, which you might find useful, such as:
- www.calm.com - Relaxation (also available as an app for smart phones)
- www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp - Self-help booklets.
- www.studentspace.org.uk - Student Space is run by Student Minds and provides a range of expert information and advice specifically for university students during the pandemic.
- www.giveusashout.org - Shout is a free, confidential 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone struggling to cope.