Amber Warning, by Amber Kirk-Ford, May 19, 2015

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As you read today’s Lynn News, I am hunched over a desk completing my second exam of the season. It’s not a nice time. Teachers are hidden behind piles of paperwork, students are buried under mountains of revision, and parents are fretting over whether their children are really doing enough to pass. Me? As well as doing my exams, I am also sad to announce that due to other commitments this will be my last column for the Lynn News. Therefore, I thought I’d end with some advice.

To the people doing exams 
or to those who are about to do them: no one should be pressuring you to get the highest grade in every exam you do. They’re probably only looking out for you, but in this situation you can ignore them and do what feels 
right for you and only you. Personally, I find that the best thing to do is aim for a C. If you get that, then great – you’ve passed! If you get higher, that’s a bonus and you should treat yourself to cake. Put enough pressure on yourself that you revise a substantial amount, but don’t drive yourself into the ground with stress. Says the girl who keeps checking in the mirror to make sure her hair isn’t prematurely turning grey.

It’s incredibly important and perfectly okay to balance revision with fun stuff, not to mention the fact that you need to take time to eat and keep hydrated. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself mad. Scheduling time for you is important, and that leads 
onto my next point: when revision gets too much and you’re contemplating 
ripping up the past paper you’re doing, have a nap, go for a run, or watch funny YouTube videos. You’ve clearly reached your limit so any revision you do after that isn’t going to benefit you at all. Take some time out and come back to it calmer and refreshed.

At the end of the day, no matter what anyone tells you, your results don’t define you. How can a single letter sum up how creative, intelligent, funny and kind you are? It doesn’t say anything about you as a person except how much you managed to remember about a certain topic on a certain day. And it’s not the end of the world if you don’t pass your exams first-time; re-sits exist for a reason, and that reason is that lots of people have to do them every single year. Anyone who is decent won’t look down on you for it.

And to the parents, guardians, teachers and other adults out there – give us gentle nudges to revise every now and then, but please don’t go on about it every two seconds. We’ve already been dealing with that for the past year or two. When it’s this close to exams, you just have to let us get on with it and hope for the best, because doing our best is all we can do.

And on that note it is time to say goodbye. Thank you to the Lynn News for believing in me, to those who have read my columns for the past year and a half, and to the people who wrote encouraging letters in response. Not only has it been great fun but also an invaluable opportunity for which I’m hugely grateful. After my exams I plan to take a course in journalism, so here’s one last Amber Warning: you’ll hopefully be reading me again in the future. And that’s me signing off. *salutes*