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Your Exams Are Over - Now What?

Originally Published 11 June 2003
Time to relax
Time to relax

That time you have been looking forward to for months has finally arrived. It’s the thought that has been keeping you going. How many times have you found yourself wishing that the whole ordeal was over?

Now that exams are finishing it is certainly a time to relax and enjoy yourself. Once exams are all over it is not unusual to feel a certain anti-climax. Maybe your friends haven't finished yet (so keep the noise down!). Some friends may have gone home to recuperate. Suddenly there is time, on your hands.

It is useful to think about how best to spend your time. How do you relax? How can you have fun? What might give you a sense of satisfaction or achievement? Maybe you can finally get round to tidying your room or doing your laundry. It's a good time to visit all the facilities on campus you have been meaning to use all year but just not managed to. Why not visit the lake or perhaps the Arts or Sports Centre.

Results not what you hoped for?

Results day can be as stressful as exams but remember if you haven’t done as well as you expected and you are in your 1st or 2nd year, ask yourself what you need to do differently in the future. Learn from your mistakes and if you are not sure where you could have done better, discuss this with your personal tutor.

If you are in your final year, it is clearly upsetting if you don’t get the classification you hoped for. Give yourself permission to be upset. At some later date, it might be possible to reframe the situation more positively. It is not the end of the world, even if it might feel like it. If you’ve had a similar experience in the past, you will know that, in time, things take on a different significance. Remember how GCSE’s were really important until A level results came along.

If you really feel unhappy, remember the counselling service is available.

In a very small number of cases there may be grounds for an appeal. If the exam board were not made aware of mitigating circumstances or if you have evidence that you have been treated unfairly, speak to your personal tutor or the Senior Tutor as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you.

Are you finally graduating?

It is normal to have mixed feelings when the time comes to leave Warwick. Relief, sense of achievement, exhilaration and satisfaction maybe tinged with nostalgia, regrets over missed opportunities, sadness at saying goodbye to friends, fear of the future and entering the big wide world.

Familiar ways of doing things are comforting and new things hold uncertainty. Transitions and the unknown can be scary. Remember how it felt when you first arrived here. It may feel good to be free but with freedom comes responsibility. What am I going to do? Where am I going to live? How am I going to support myself?

Being thoughtful and thorough in making your decisions will help you feel in control. Use what you have learnt about yourself whilst you have been here to pursue your interests and set realistic goals. Remember you are not expected to know everything so use experts, family, and friends with similar experiences to help guide you.

It is important to sort out your finances, especially if you have no imminent employment. You may want to check out any benefit entitlements e.g. job seekers allowance, housing benefit, council tax benefit.

Useful web addresses:
Benefits agency - www.dwp.gov.uk
Student Loans Company - www.slc.co.uk

Going home for the vacation?

Returning home for the summer after an extended period away, can raise lots of questions.

Have I still got my room? Will I feel like a member of the family or an outsider? Will the same rules apply? Will there be some acknowledgement of my independence and can I relate to my parents adult to adult? Will they expect me to spend lots of time with them and do loads of chores?

Difficulties may arise if their expectations differ from yours. It is useful to let them in on any plans you may have before you return home.

When you get home, both you and your parents may need to adjust to having each other around. Try to facilitate mutual respect.

Try to decide on the purpose of the vacation. Is it an opportunity to replenish the bank balance, obtain valuable work experience, or a time to relax and catch up with old friends, or a balance of all these and more?

Whatever you decide some preparation and planning is sure to pay off. Hopefully you will then return to Warwick having had a good vacation and ready to make the most of your next year here at Warwick University.

Time on your hands?

Volunteering for a community or charity project during the summer can be a rewarding experience. Warwick Volunteers can provide information about a range of volunteering opportunities, both at home and abroad. For those staying locally over the summer there are also a number of community projects in the area which are looking for support during the vacation.

To find out more about the opportunities either visit the Warwick Volunteers website or contact them at volunteers@warwick.ac.uk. There will be a series of introductory sessions to specific projects in the coming weeks - keep an eye on insite for more details.

So you have an Exam Tomorrow?

Dealing with Exam and Revision Stress

Survive and Thrive in the Summer Term

For more information about the Counselling Service visit their website.

If you have anything to say about this article, have your say on the insite News Warwick Forum - http://forums.warwick.ac.uk/university/insite-news/.