Then it all got taken away and marked while you hoping you’d done your best to get the marks you thought you deserved.

I know many people have mixed emotions towards exams. There are the people who don’t care about what they get and will leave the exam room the first chance they get. There are also the people who work really hard and have very high expectations for themselves.

I have to admit that I am one of these people – anyone who knows me at all will know this. I have always been like this. I have always wanted the best for myself and will basically not stop at anything less. In some aspects this is ok but most of the time it can be quite toxic.

With the results I got I should be overjoyed but there is this niggling at the back of my brain telling me that I could have done better. Although some people would consider those marks still great, I can’t help but think they could have been better.

I also can’t help feeling sometimes that other people are judging me for not getting those top marks. If that’s what other people think, than they can, but I will refuse to listen to it this year and to let it affect me. I did the best I could and I will be happy with that. Anyway, it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to get top marks in absolutely everything they do.

I am my own biggest critic and this year it is my goal to try and stop thinking I’m being judged. I want to laugh at the mistakes and think “Oh well, I’ll do better next time”. Because, in the end, it doesn’t help anything to be so hard on yourself – you just end up stressing yourself out and possibly hindering what you are doing.

I don’t mean you should turn into one of those people who don’t care at all – you can still try your hardest and aim for those high marks, but it is also good to roll with the punches. So what if you get a less than desirable mark at the end of the day? If you know that it was the best you could come up with at that point in time, be happy about it. It’s important to look at the positives in life and not dwell on the negatives.

I know I am going to try and do this and I hope others will join me. Surely I’m not the only person feeling this way? If you feel like I do, I’d love to know and we can possibly help each other through it this year!

P.S. This was very hard for me to write but I hope that it will at least help someone else out there who is going through the same thing.



Nicole Ashby Pic 2Author: Nicole Ashby

Nicole Ashby is currently a Year 12 student at Ellesmere College in Leeston, New Zealand. She has always had an interest in writing in classes at school and in her free time. She enjoys writing about things that matter to people her age that they may not know much about or they want to broaden their knowledge on a certain subject. Nicole enjoys writing about things that matter to her and things that she thinks more people should be aware about. When she was 12 she was one of 5 who won a writing competition in Creme magazine about her experience in the earthquakes. She has written pieces for her local newsletter, The Ellesmere Echo, about school events and this year she has taken on the task of being the editor of her school magazine. She also has an interest for design and creating magazine covers and spreads. Nicole looks forward to expanding her writing and creating pieces for people to enjoy.


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