Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Future gcses

I have been doing gcses Since year 9

my teachers all call me rearly smart and my approximated levels are all c-a* but as soon as my pen touches an exam paper everything goes wrong

I've walked out the exams the past 2 years thinking I have past and both times I have been disappointed

in my school I have always had good times and bad times lately they've been good but because of the bad times I have been sent to collage 2 days a week to keep me out of school

I have 2 jobs one As a builder and  the other as a painter at weekends so I have no time to study

the real reason I wrote this letter was down to the new law the government have brought out about doing gcses till I'm 18

But I see this as a silly rule yes it may be affective to certain people and it's bin put in place for them but for me school had nether been my favourite place but the work site has and this new law is causing to me to feel pain so bad I've thought of doing things that I shouldn't think of doing to my self just because of this law and I can't stop the government I just don't no why it can't be an option  to not do these gcses for another 2 years when I could be making a good wage and be looking at my future and the bigger picture I don't know my head is just everywhere just now

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you so much for writing in to me. I can hear how hard it is for you to be at college two days per week, when you really want to work full time.

It sounds like your teachers are confident you have the ability to achieve a C and above in your GCESs. But taking exams is so stressful for you that somehow things go wrong. I can hear that has been a hard thing to deal with.

It sounds like you are aiming for a future of earning a good wage, being independent and leaving exams behind you. Having jobs as a builder and painter will mean you’re learning all kinds of great, valuable skills. I can hear that being forced to study again by this new law is a big blow for you. It’s causing you what sounds like some dark thoughts, and I’m concerned about that.

If you find yourself having thoughts of harming yourself, or even taking your life, then I would really like you to talk that through with someone. I believe that suicide is never the right answer. I can hear how hard things seem right now, but it sounds like you can also see some positive times in the future. Have a look at the information on coping with suicidal feelings in Explore.I think it would be useful if you chat to a friend, or an adult you trust. You can always contact a ChildLine counsellor who can help you through your situation.

It can be really disappointing and frustrating when you’ve planned out a particular future and then something gets in the way. Perhaps the way forward is to plan how to make your time at college as tolerable as possible. You talked about having good times as well as bad ones at school. What was it that made the good times good? Can you still do any of those things at college? Is there anything you can do to try and stop the bad times happening again? Do you have any extra support available at college, like study skills sessions, or pastoral support?

Maybe you could also try thinking about specific situations at work where your GCSEs would help you out. Studying can seem more worthwhile when you can see a clear reason for doing it. There’s no reason to think you might not go on to be an independent contractor or run your own company someday. The more experienced you become, the more skills like Maths and English will need to be part of your life.

The main thing is you don’t have to deal with this difficult situation on your own. Please remember we’re here to support you as your studies continue, right the way up to your 19th birthday.

Take care


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