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To Sam

Am I working too hard?

I am 11, 12 in July and I feel so sad at the moment. When I am older I want to be a writer, so I am trying to do every thing in my power to become sucessful. However, I think sometimes I work a little too hard that is what my friends and family say anyway. I have a paranoia about checking my bag for school for example, I check about 15 times every night that I have all my books and stuff and then another 15 in the morning before school. Also, before a small test I revise heavily for hours and hours, scared I will move down sets and what annoys me is that some people don't revise at all and seem to get better grades than me. I get upset too, angry feeling like I am more 100 than 11, I am too sad, too worried and I feel like a right nerd :( And for this I get picked on, by my friends  think I am no fun anymore, and I wish I was "fun". So it is probably nothing but if you could reply that would be kind.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter, it sounds like you are finding things really difficult at the moment and you have done really well to write to me and tell me about how you are feeling.

It sounds like you are really determined to make it is a writer and it’s really good that you have a goal and a plan of what you want to achieve. Some young people decide early on what they want to do as a job when they are older, while others make their decision further down the line. I can hear that writing and your school grades are really important to you but it seems like trying to maintain them is becoming overwhelming for you and causing you to feel worried and anxious a lot of the time.

When we feel like we really want something it can be hard not to become too focused on it and forget about the other things that we have going on in our lives. It’s good to have a goal to focus on but it’s also important that we take a break from studying and working and do things that are fun and give our minds a rest.

Spending time with people that we enjoy being around can help us to relax; perhaps you could think about doing something fun with the important people in your life, like going out somewhere or staying in and watching a film.

Sometimes feelings of anxiety can become too much to cope with and it can be hard to distract yourself from those feelings. In that case it can be useful to talk to someone about how you are feeling and get some help, this could be a trusted adult in your life, your doctor or a counsellor at ChildLine.

You might also find it useful to have a look at the pages on anxiety and exam stress.

Take care


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