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Young People Today - An open message

The next few months are going to be a very stressful time for thousands of young people.SATs for 7, 11 and 14 year olds, GCSEs for 16 year olds and those resitting them, A Levels and those who are having to do end of year tests on their degree courses.First of all I would like to wish you all well. All that any adult can ask of you is that you do your best.Do try and take time to relax. Especially for the older groups, if you feel things are getting too much please tell someone, mum, dad or even a teacher/tutor, stress is normal for this time of year. But if you are getting too stressed it is not good for you.Each year for a small number stress can lead to thoughts of suicide, and this can go on beyond the exams and into the waiting period until you find out your results. It is important that you let an adult know, parent, teacher or even your doctor. A lot of pressure has been put on you to do well and if you don't think you have done well the future can look bleak.Even if the worst happens, there are always options, different routes you can take. Talking to the right people early will open those options to you much more quickly and successfully.Sadly even for those who do well in their A Levels this year it is estimated around 30000 young people will be turned away from universities.Whether you are doing GCSEs or A Levels, if you feel you did not do well enough take a break, then prepare for the worst, but keep your options open. There are usually a wide range of options across a spectrum of abilities. Including resits, A levels and degrees are one form of qualification, there are a number of others ranging from work related courses - NVQs, city and guilds or even BTEC qualifications.Even if the very worst happens it does not define your future. The route can be longer, and can be harder but you do have your future in your own hands. Learning is a lifelong process, and there will be options for you to make up your education later on.One of my proudest moments came not as a father but as a son. My mum started her working lass a cotton mill lass in Yorkshire. She packed up work to raise three children. At 40 she got a job doing logistics. She did a two year course and got her qualificaton in purchasing and supply. She was by far the oldest student on the course, but with that she brought life experiences that the whole class benefitted from. The day she got her diploma was one of the proudest days in my life. She left school with no qualifications, and this was the first course she did since leaving school, so at least 25 years away from the class room.You of course don't have to wait that long.Good luck - and to the parents as well ;)
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