Meka’s already given us the inside scoop on what life is really like at high school – a boy stares at you all lesson then tell you one eyebrow is a different shade to the other – and now she’s opening up about exams. Read on, and share with your long-suffering teenage friends! (And don’t blame her for the cheesy title!)
It’s GCSE time, which for me means a time of stress, late nights and lots and lots of tears. For as long as I can remember, exams have really got to me. I can’t stand the intense atmosphere and uncertainty of what’s going to happen next. I struggle putting my faith in God and instead, normally turn to staying up the night before the exam, reading textbooks cover-to-cover. I decided back in January that I’m going to start preparing for GCSEs earlier. Then hopefully, I wouldn’t be as stressed leading up to May 16th. However, I feel the least ready for these tests than I have done before.
Teachers don’t help matters! The workload increases, the amount of time we have left decreases, which seems to mean we are left teaching ourselves the last bits of the syllabus. The start-of-lesson ‘pep talks’ about the importance of revision and self-perseverance go over the heads of those who couldn’t care less, but for people who are already piling the stress on themselves, it’s even more pressure.
I have friends who will revise from 4-11pm every night – driven friends, who want to become doctors or lawyers. I’ve seen them drop every out-of-school activity, every exercise class, every party, so they can revise constantly. In a constant state of exhaustion, one friend broke down in tears the other week when I asked how she was. These friends are stressed, buy they are getting nearly top marks!
Sometimes, we get so caught up with the world’s ideas surrounding success and how to get there that we block out the one guy that can deliver us to where we need to be.
I have always had a strong passion for art and design, I love how a specific tone of a pencil or a shade of paint can reflect how you’re feeling, and how you can create something so beautiful through brush strokes and sketch lines. I have plenty of friends who wouldn’t get that. To some people, art is stressful and insolvable – their worst subject. But then I feel the same about algebra and elements, and don’t revel in solving equations and complications!
I believe God has set that passion of art inside my heart and he wants to use that in some way throughout my life. At the moment I don’t know what that is, I’m just doing what I enjoy. I have come to learn over these last couple of days that if God wants me to work in the art field he will get me there, as long as I put in my part. If God wants my friend to be a doctor then he will get her into medical school, because his plan overrules any mark scheme or exam board.
I have begun to centre my exams around Gods plan for me. I put quotes around my room that give me motivation and encouragement that my heavenly father isn’t absent in this process – he is with me, walking beside me, helping me achieve what I need in order to fulfill his plan for me. ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself’ – Mathew 6:34
Colour co-ordinate subjects using pens and coloured paper, then all the different topics don’t merge together, making it clearer what you’re revising.
I know you have probably heard this one a lot but: revise smart. Revise the things you don’t know, not the stuff you can remember, even though it can be much more appealing.
Stay motivated! After a couple weeks of revision you can sometimes lose track of the goal. Keep your eyes on what you’re working towards… your future!
Trust God. He holds it ALL, he knows it ALL and he has a plan for it ALL. He is so excited for your future with Him so don’t beat yourself up over them, he has it ALL together, even if sometimes you don’t…
Keep up extra-curriculum clubs, even if its just 2 hours a week at the gym. The mid-week break will be healthy and refreshing.
Keep the weekend as free as possible to be with friends and family. Organize days out so you aren’t indoors, and do something that you can look forward to during the week. Meet with church friends and discuss how you’re all dealing with exams and pressure, it will be reassuring knowing that others are going through the same, and God’s with them also.
Remember… GCSEs are tiny in comparison to God’s plans over your life!