Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Online School

Recently, my school just went into lockdown which meant we had to start doing work online, which i dread. Doing work online makes me feel so unmotivated and stressed because sometimes they set way too much, like its only been a tuesday and theyve set over 10 pieces of homework that we have to finish after this week and i cant handle it, especially due to my mental health. ive asked my mum if i can see a therapist and she said yes but now with lockdown i cant and i find it super hard to talk with a therapist over phone or on video.

So, my mum convinced me to do some work yesterday, which i did, and i felt good about it but then today my mum recieved a letter saying im not doing enough work and now shes saying that im not good enough or need to do more and i try explain to her that i find it really hard and that im dealing with a lot of things at the moment but she doesnt listen and puts more pressure on me.

I really want to do good in school but i just feel drained and upset and i cant. Its especially hard with my mum and the school pressuring me to do more. I dont know what to do, im so stressed. I want my school and parents to take it more easy on me.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Lockdown means that learning has moved online for lots of young people. Schools and colleges have closed for most children and many university courses can’t offer face to face learning at the moment. Online lessons and homework means that your education can continue while you’re not able to go to school.

Online study at home might mean you’ll be expected to study on your own sometimes. This is easier if you create your own timetable and schedule the work you have to complete by the deadline you’ve been given. Be sure to make time for breaks to eat, exercise and have some fun. Be realistic about what you can do. Take a longer break every 2 to 3 hours so you don’t get overwhelmed or stressed and remember that taking time to relax during the day often means you’ll achieve more in the long run.

Break your workload down into manageable chunks. Start by looking one piece of work at a time, trying to juggle different tasks at the same time is counterproductive – it’s only possible to do one thing at a time. Set a goal to achieve and reward yourself when you get there by doing a different activity. It can help to make sure your work is broken down into specific tasks – just saying “work” or “History” on your schedule might not be specific enough. Instead try writing “Read chapter 3 and make notes”.

It’s important to recognise all your achievements, no matter how small, so notice when you finish writing the first page, you’ve studied for an hour or you are half way through a task - it’s all about finding ways to keep yourself motivated and calm at the same time. In the beginning start small and build up – doing anything is better than doing nothing.

If you’re struggling it can help to talk to your teacher or tutor about what’s difficult and ask for their help. You should be given a way to contact your teacher – if not then call your school and ask how to do this. Letting your school know that you’re feeling pressured might mean they are able to find better ways to support you.

Feeling depressed, anxious or unhappy can all affect your ability to learn and concentration so it’s important to get the right support. Most counselling services are offering phone or video sessions where it’s not possible to meet face to face and although it might not be ideal its always best to get the support that’s available rather than none at all.

I hope this advice has helped and thank you for writing this letter to me. Our counsellors are here to support you too. You can also find self-help ideas on our Calm Zone and the Coping Kit.

Take care,


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