Know your options for any outcome

The period between the last exam paper and the release of matric results are some of the most anxiety-inducing, nail-biting weeks of school-leavers’ lives.

What should be a period of rest and relaxation as young people make the transition between school and further studies, is often marred by questions about “what if”.

“It’s important to be able to use this time to reflect and look forward to future plans, but because there are so many possible scenarios that may arise from one’s matric results, this time is too often spent stressing; both on the part of learners and their parents or guardians,” said Dr Gillian Mooney, from The Independent Institute of Education.

Instead of stressing, now is the time to consider what you can control and to let go of what you cannot control. What you can control is how you react to this outcome, and you can start to plan for a range of possible outcomes.


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Mooney said that there are established potential scenarios for which matriculants can and should plan after writing their last paper.

“If you know what to do after receiving your results, regardless of what the outcome may be, you’ll be able to relax and regroup so that you enter the New Year refreshed and ready to take on the next phase of your life.”

She added that parents and guardians in particular need to get in the right frame of mind ahead of the release of the results, so that whatever happens, they are well-positioned to either help their child make a successful transition, or deal constructively with any challenges that may arise.

In addition, parents must manage their own emotions while remembering an over-the-top reaction may make an unnecessary but long-term impact.

“So at this stage, it is helpful to stand back and objectively consider what options are open to both successful and not-so-successful matriculants,” Mooney said.

Always keep in mind that there are indeed options, no matter what your results.

No matter what happens in January when results are announced, knowing now how you will handle any eventuality will make for a more peaceful, less stressful December, and will go a long way towards averting unhelpful tension within families and for young adults as the moment of truth nears.

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