What NOT to do on results day

This article was last updated on 23 July 2020.

Results day can be a big, emotionally messy day and, if your grades aren't quite what you'd hoped, it can be really overwhelming, too. Even if you did well, it’s not always easy to own your success.

If you’re prone to seeing the glass as half empty, there are a few bad habits that you might fall into on results day. Trust us – we’ve been there! So, to save you from yourself, we’ve compiled a list of things NOT to do, to help keep you feeling positive about life beyond your results.

DON’T think ‘what if’

What if I’d spent more time studying? What if I’d focused more? What if I’d paid more attention?

Unless you’re Dr Who, you can’t go back and change history. The school year is over and there’s nothing you can do to turn back time.

Try turning those ‘what ifs’ into positive actions that you can take forward in your life. Didn’t study enough? Make sure you get yourself a solid study plan to make it less overwhelming next time, for example.

For support, check out our guide on how to set more realistic goals.

DON’T dwell on your mistakes (at least not today!)

Identifying where you went wrong might be useful, but you don’t need to do it today. Give yourself a few days to take it all in and then get reflective.

Yes, it might be useful to know which areas you scored the lowest in if you’re planning to try again. But scrutinising your scores can wait a few days.

When you are ready to give it some thought, don't forget that you can talk to your teachers and support staff. They'll be able to help you identify where you fell down and set targets so that it doesn't happen next time.

DON’T make comparisons

Your results are your results. It doesn’t matter how your best friend or your arch-nemesis did. We’re all individuals with different strengths.

Don’t put yourself on a league table: you just need to be concerned with yourself and what’s best for you.

Take a look at forging your own path for advice on listening to your own heart.

DON’T make big decisions (again – not today!)

You’ve probably experienced some pretty wild emotional swings over the last 24 hours so today is not the day to decide what you’re going to do with the rest of your life.

Just because you’ve aced Biology doesn’t mean you have to be a doctor, even though you’re scared of blood! Take a few days and see whether your heart still tells you that you want to wield a scalpel before committing yourself.

Then, make sure you explore all your options thoughtfully before making a decision. Take a look at our Careers pages for inspiration and advice about different routes into a whole range of jobs.

DON’T downplay your achievements

It’s human nature to focus on the negatives but, in all the emotion, don’t forget to celebrate the positives too!

In fact, find the positives and shout about them! You got through your courses and came out the other side – that’s massive. Own it.

What should I do after getting my grades? Your options at 15/16
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