Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Can't handle sixth form

I knew A Levels were going to be a lot harder than GCSES and i knew that i would have to put a lot more effort in if i wanted to succeed. Even after only a month of being at sixth form i feel completely overwhelmed with the workload and ive completely lost interest in it all. I havent done any independent studying like they go on at us to do and i barely make any effort with the ridiculous amount of homework they give us, and this is only the start of the year! Everytime i look at all the work ive gotta do i just sit and cry about it, i dont have the motivation to do it all even though i know i should. I feel like im the only one that feels this way since everyone else in my classes seem to manage, and this always makes me think that if i can't handle this how am i supposed to handle anything else later on in life? i feel completely unsuitable for life and like im one huge failure and it frustrates me because im aware that im not even trying to succeed, Im trapped in this nightmare since i have to stay in full time education, i have no idea what else i want to do, nothing else interests me and i have no talents to speak of. I know im purposely making it worse for myself but i just can't get out of the mindset that i cant do it and for some stupid reason i dont even want to do it and a part of me doesnt want help or to be told how to handle sixth form or that i have to get through sixth form..... i dont understand whats going on with me?
all i know is that im all over the place
Ask Sam



Lots of people find the jump to A-levels really hard. I can hear you’re feeling overwhelmed and pressured to feel you are keeping up with everyone else. Chances are you’re not the only one feeling this way, even if other people do look like they are coping with the workload.

Sometimes when things feel so overwhelming, our brains can feel as if they are shutting down. It can be hard to then find the energy and motivation to get going again, especially when something feels too big to tackle in that moment.

I got the sense that this is having a really big effect on you, as you’re not feeling able to put in the effort to do the work. That then leads to more work being piled on top.

Lots of people can struggle academically through school, college and university, but still go on to have successful careers and futures. It’s important to do as best you can at school and college – but it’s true that this style of learning is not for everyone, and that’s okay. Struggling through this month does not make you a failure or unsuitable for life. You’ve recognised how overwhelmed you’re feeling and you’ve taken steps to get some help.

Another option might be for you to talk to your tutors. They should be aware of how tough all this can be and would be used to offering some extra support. It might even help for you to just hear from them that other people find this tough too. It can also be helpful to identify what support you need right now. That could include information on study tips or study support groups.

It can be hard to feel instantly motivated when you are carrying so much. Thinking about how things can be broken down into manageable chunks could help with seeing what roads lead out of the nightmare you’re feeling trapped in. You might want to have a look at the ChildLine message boards as there are already some threads on there that talk about Study Help: Exams, homework, coursework & learning. If there’s not an existing thread on there that you find helpful, you could think about starting your own one.

Thoughts can sometimes feel jumbled. Just having a space to talk and let everything out, can help to start untangle things. If you wanted to talk to a ChildLine counsellor then they are here for you.

Hope this letter has been helpful.

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