Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Whilst most matriculates are celebrating the end of more than a decade of studying, others are nervous, anxious or afraid whilst waiting in anticipation for their final Matric Results to be released on January 7. 

South African Depression and Anxiety Group ( SADAG) are going to be there for all matriculants before, during and after the exam results to equip them with the right information to navigate their stress during this difficult time.

So many Matriculants struggle to cope with the idea of disappointment from family members, loved one’s and friends when the final results are released. There are many worried about low results, a missed distinctions or not getting enough points to study further. All newspaper are gearing up to publish all the matric results nationwide and all eyes are on the matrics which makes the process very overwhelming and creates a lot of anticipation waiting for the dreaded unknown results.

After receiving results, there are various situation that can play out, a result is very low, some subjects weren’t passed, missed distinctions, results aren’t printed in the newspaper or some are grappling with the disappointment of parents, teachers, friends, loved one’s and scared of what the futures hold.

There’s many ways to cope after receiving the results, parents need to be there for their children before and after exam results. Offer support and make an effort to show them that it is not the end and that there is so much that can be done after a bad result, missed distinction or points too low for University entrance. As a parent, one needs to validate their child on the importance of trying again, or striving to do better. We can only learn from our downfalls.

Upset about results:
▪ First check official printout of results not just what appears in the newspaper.
▪ Speak to the headmaster at the school about their options, especially if they have only failed by a small margin or only failed one subject.
▪ Can ask for a remark on an exam.
▪ Can ask about the possibility of a supplementary exam.
▪ If they have to redo the year, they could consider going to a different school.
▪ They could also do the subjects they need to through correspondence learning institutions, like Damelin or Abbotts.
▪ If they don’t have exemption or the necessary subjects for what they want to study, they can do bridging courses through colleges, etc.
▪ Can approach their school with questions; can also speak to the department of education or consider career counselling at colleges and universities.

It’s normal for someone to feel disappointed, angry, sad or numb after receiving an unexpected result. When these normal feelings last longer than two to four weeks and physical symptoms start to show such as loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in things they used to enjoy. This then becomes a concern.

Symptoms of Depression include:

• Persistent sad, or “empty” mood
• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
• Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and self-reproach
• Insomnia or hypersomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
• Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
• Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling run down
• Increased use of alcohol and drugs, may be associated but not a criteria for diagnosis
• Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
• Restlessness, irritability, hostility
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
• Deterioration of social relationships

If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts you can speak to your parents, an aunt/uncle, a teacher, a friend - anyone you trust. If you are not sure who to turn to, or feel you don't want to confide in anyone you know, you can call SADAG on 0800 567 567 or 0800 456 789.