MATRICS have remarkably trudged through a challenging year in history. Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels.
MATRICS have remarkably trudged through a challenging year in history. Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels.

How to cope with your matric results

By MaryAnne Isaac Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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THE Class of 2020 will forever be remembered for their resilience and determination during an uncertain and challenging year.

Whether you were successful and achieved your academic goals or you feel despondent because you did not pass – congratulations, as you have trudged through a difficult pandemic year. Not many can boast about this.

Life has many surprises and does not end with a matric certificate. You will grow and develop beyond matric. If you have not been successful in your matric year, there are several options available that help you to either better your results or rewrite matric to pass. Your matric results do not define who you are and what you can achieve.

There are infinite pathways to achieving your career ambitions.

Here are some vital guidelines from the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) on how to cope with your matric results.

1. Listen and understand

Esmarie Cilliers, a registered counsellor and educator at the SACAP, says that behavioural clues such as changes in sleeping or eating patterns, moodiness, short temper, frustration, lethargy, and expressions of boredom are indications of anxiety and distress.

“Parents should react to this with patience and understanding,” she says.

“Using reflective listening can help your child to become aware of their emotions. Having someone that understands always makes the burden we carry lighter.”

2. Choose to cope

Being aware is a great start, but both parents and teens can also take action to manage the stress that has unfolded from waiting for results.

“Parents can encourage participation in enjoyable family activities, such as going on walks and playing backyard sports. Daily physical activity regularly releases feel-good endorphins and promotes emotional resilience and well-being.”

During acute episodes of anxiety, deep breathing techniques work to calm you down, and positive affirmations can be used in the moment to shift your thought patterns.

3. Manage the expectations

Even in the best of years, matric is a pressure-cooker experience and we tend to place a large emphasis on the importance of getting nothing less than outstanding results.

“It’s important to know that if the outcome of your matric results does not meet your expectations, this should not be viewed as a defeat,” says Cilliers. “Rather it’s a new challenge or obstacle, and you have choices and steps you can take to move forward in life. Remember not to compare your life with those of others, and that each of us has our own journey to follow.”

4. Reframe the pandemic matric experience

While the 2020 matric cohort will be experiencing many typical trials of processing their results, we do have to remember that they have had to grapple uniquely with the pandemic’s impact on their matric experience.

According to Dr Diana De Sousa, the head of teaching and learning at SACAP’s Johannesburg campus, you need to reflect on how Covid-19 impacts you, while acknowledging that it is now in the past.

“What can you learn so that you can adapt and grow from your matric experience? Take a moment to consider that you made it this far, and this is a major achievement.”

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