Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi I just started a-levels this year.All the coursework is piling up on me and I can't handle it. There it too much workand iI don't know what to do. I can hardly sleep at night with stress from school pressurising to complete coursework. What should i do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

A-levels can be a really stressful time and can feel like a big step up from GCSEs. If you start to get behind with work it can feel like it's building up. It can often seem like too much to cope with, but there are ways to start to feel more on top of it again.

If there are particular parts of your school work that you’re struggling with, a teacher should be able to explain it to you in a way you understand it. If you do decide this would be a good idea then maybe think about when would be a good time to ask for help. Maybe you could try to talk about it before or after a lesson. You might want to see if you can arrange a time with the teacher to sit down and talk it through, so that it isn’t a rushed conversation.

Teachers generally want their students to do as well as they can, so they would much rather be asked for help than have work not handed in on time or not done as well as possible.

It can also help to maybe make a chart of all the work that you need to get done, setting out what date it needs to be done by. This way you can work out which bits of work to do first and feel more in control of it.

Maybe even set yourself mini-goals. For example, if you have an essay to do part one could be doing the reading for it, part two a first draft and part three the final version. Ticking off each of these bits can help you to see the progress that you’re making.

It’s also important to make sure that you have somewhere with no distractions to do your work. If that’s difficult at home maybe try somewhere in school or a library.

Feeling stressed can make it hard to sleep at night, but it's important that you get some rest. Feeling tired makes it much harder to concentrate. It might help to try and take your mind off your school work before going to bed by doing something like listening to music or reading. It’s also important to take time out to do things you enjoy and have a bit of a balance.

I hope this has helped.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter