No matter how much time you’ve spent studying, the night before examination results are released is always nerve-wracking.
Even more so when they’re as important as the matric exams – and having the eyes of the country fixated on them doesn’t make it any easier!
Many matriculants struggle to cope with the idea of disappointing their family members.
Whether you’re stressed about missing a distinction, not obtaining the results you need to study further, or failing, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) offers ways to cope:
Check on the correct platform
Search for your results on the correct platforms, as opposed to running to the local newspaper first. From 2pm onwards on 8 January, the results will be available on the Department of Basic Education's website.
Other ways to check include:
· Going to your high school;
· Sending your ID number and exam number via SMS to 35658, or
· Using the USSD service by dialling *120*35658#.
Don’t lose hope
If you’ve only failed by a small margin, speak to your principal about what your options are.
You can either ask for an exam paper to be remarked or write a supplementary exam.
If you have to redo a year, consider moving to another school to avoid possible anxiety caused by feelings of shame at having to repeat the grade.
There are alternative options
If you haven’t acquired the points necessary to study your course of choice, some universities and colleges offer bridging courses. Find out from your institution whether the option is available.
Dealing with the disappointment
Feeling disappointed after receiving an unexpected result is normal. But these feelings of sadness become worrisome when they last longer than two to four weeks and are coupled with physical symptoms such as loss of appetite and trouble sleeping.
It could indicate depression. Symptoms to keep an eye out for include:
· A persistent sad or “empty” mood;
· Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed;
· Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism;
· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and self-reproach;
· Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness), early-morning awakening, or oversleeping;
· Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling run down;
· Increased use of alcohol and drugs;
· Restlessness, irritability and hostility;
· Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain;
· Deterioration of social relationships;
· Thoughts of death or suicide.
Sadag has trained counsellors available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. You can call them on 0800-567-567 or 0800-456-789.