Kettering teenager offers advice to those stressed in busy exam period

Chantelle Rowe.
Chantelle Rowe.

A Kettering teenager has offered her advice to parents and teenagers on handling stress during the busy exam period.

Chantelle Rowe, 17, admits she struggled to cope with stress during the exam period but her saviour was having something to look forward to post-exams.

Following her experience on the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, Chantelle is urging teenagers and their parents to remember there is life beyond exam stress and recommends planning a unique and life-changing experience.

She said: “It’s easy to get trapped in the bubble of revision and exams and your day-to-day life is bound to change in order to accommodate the stress you’re feeling or the amount of work you have.

“Looking back, my own behaviour and attitude did alter and I’m sure those around me noticed the difference, especially my parents.

“My family were really supportive and I valued their help but I often found it easier to be left to my own devices and revise in the best way that suited me – it was great that my parents understood that.

“Where my parents really supported me was by allowing me to plan something to look forward to after my exams.

“While it was a stressful time, having NCS to look forward to after exams made it a lot more bearable and helped to keep me focused.

“It was a great feeling knowing that once I had worked hard I could go on NCS where I would meet other young people in Northamptonshire in the same position as me, develop news skills, approach new challenges and start to look beyond exams and revision.

“It was like a light at the end of a tunnel.”

NCS is offering advice to parents and teens on handling stress during the busy exam period, after research from the country’s flagship youth programme reveals Northants teenagers prefer their parents to leave them alone during revision and focus their energy on finding exciting activities for them to do once their exams are finished.

New research suggests 78 per cent of teenagers expect exam stress to have negative impacts to their appearance, health or mental state in some way during the revision period, with many eating more or less than usual, not showering or changing their clothes, and others not leaving the house for days.

Stress will even cause some teenagers to sit alone in the dark in angst, whereas others may show signs of anger.

Janey Downshire, specialist in teenage development from Teenagers Translated, said: “Witnessing these often concerning changes can be difficult for parents and it can be very hard not to jump in and get involved.

“However, while it’s important to keep an eye on any dramatic changes in appetite, sleep patterns and behaviours, sometimes being overly involved can inflame the situation even further.”