young people encouraged to remember exam results don’t define your future

This week Year 12 student across the country will be eagerly awaiting their exam results, and with many young people feeling stressed and wondering what their future might hold, headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation says it’s important young people try to keep focused, and understand there are many ways to reach your end goal.

This period of transition is a significant time of change for young people, and it can bring with it increased feelings of stress and uncertainty as young people worry about their exam results and question their performance and future goals.

headspace National Manager Vocational Programs, Carolyn Watts said it can be helpful to put exam results in perspective with research finding 15-year-olds today will likely navigate 17 changes in employment in up to five different careers, demonstrating that our future shouldn’t be determined by our exam results.

“We know there is a lot of pressure on school leavers to have their work and study plans all figured out, but we want young people to know there are many paths to achieving goals, even if you didn’t get the score you were expecting.

“Parents can also be a big support for young people during this period of change, by not only providing reassurance, support and perspective, but also by encouraging young people to keep active, getting good sleep and to maintain social connections to help them through the tough times and keep a healthy headspace.

Emma, 20 from regional NSW and the headspace Youth National Reference Group didn’t receive the Year 12 score she was hoping for so understands what some school leavers might be going through. However, instead of being focused on a particular score, Emma is encouraging others to keep an open mind as they receive their exam results.

“It’s hard not to be disappointed when you have worked so hard towards something and it doesn’t pan out the way you’d hoped. What I’ve learned is that there are so many different pathways to get you where you want to be – so I’d say it’s important to keep an open mind when reviewing results”.

headspace offers a number of programs to help school leavers who are struggling with their mental health to navigate this period and find a path that’s right for them. This includes headspace Work and Study and headspace Career Mentoring.  Both services provide personalised support to help young people build their confidence, explore employment and educational opportunities and to develop job seeking skills.

“We want young people to know there is help available. If things don’t go the way you expected or you’re unsure about what to do next, we have Work and Study specialists available that can provide tailored support to help you find your path, and work towards achieving your goals.” Carolyn said.

Those aged between 15 and 25 who might be concerned about work or study can get free and confidential support from the work and study specialists at headspace.