Ask Sam letter


To Sam

School, school, school

Hi, i am now in sixth form and i get sooooooooo much work from school, sometimes, i get caught up in the middle of everything that i do not know hwere to start from, and this makes me just lay everything off and push it away for sometime. I do want ti get a good grade and DEFINATELY not repeat the year, how can i get myself to do work and understand how i really operate in doing work?

In school i do some work in class but when i plan to stay behind afer school to do work,i end up hurrying home because i hate the school environment, i feel very very very uncomfortable and awkard and so just hurry home cause thats like my safety place but when i get home i get too comfortable and distracted that i do no work at all. help me handle my work please.

Ask Sam



The work in sixth form is often more intense than school. There is more homework, and higher expectations. It means you have to manage your own time and workload. As difficult as it can be it is good preparation for university and working life, where you will have to manage your own time and work.

Everybody has different learning styles. Try this BBC quiz to help you discover yours. Some people like reading texts and making notes, others watch educational DVD’s or watch lectures online.

Try creating a timetable. Breaking the day into hours and doing a couple at a time might stop it all feeling overwhelming. At the end of every hour you could give yourself five minutes for a mini-break. Also, add in time to relax and have fun at the weekends. Having something to look forward to should keep you motivated.

Perhaps there is somewhere in school that you feel more at ease. It could be the library, an ICT room, or even the lunch room. Maybe you could listen to some relaxing music through your headphones - this might help you forget who is around you, and help you focus on your work. Alternatively, try working from a local library or a coffee shop, a change of scenery might help you relax and focus.

Another option is a study group with students from your classes. Having mates there might help you to meet deadlines. Studying in a group can also help you feel less on your own. You can test each other and help each other.

If you do decide to study at home, make sure you:

  • turn off the things that distract you (like social networking sites, websites, phone/messenger apps)
  • don't turn on the TV
  • ask your family not to disturb you
  • only listen to music that doesn't distract you (you could make a playlist of relaxing songs).

To help with motivation try creating a collage on a board (or a screensaver on a computer or phone) to remind you what you are working towards. This could be a picture of the university you want to go to, images of your dream career or any plans you have for the future (maybe to travel or take a gap year).

You might also find it useful to write yourself a letter about how you would feel if you get the grades. For example, you might write “I’m so pleased I worked hard, now I don’t have to repeat the year. I can make plans for next year. Without the resits on my mind, I can enjoy half-terms.” Whenever you are lacking focus or motivation you can read it.

Take care, and remember you can also check out our page about homework and revision or use the school/college message boards for more suggestions


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