Tips for Students & Parents
Support for Young People
Time to Change
A little bit of stress can be a good thing as it motivates us to knuckle down and work hard. But exams can make stress levels get out of hand, which can stop us from performing our best. So it's important to address it and get it back under control.
How to manage exam stress
Learn to recognise when you're stressing out. A break or a chat with someone who knows the pressure you're under will get things into perspective.
Avoid comparing your abilities with your mates. Those "Oh my God I've only read Macbeth 17 times" conversations are such a wind up. Everyone approaches revision in different ways, so just make sure you've chosen the method that works best for you. Make a realistic timetable. Stick to it.
Eat right. Treat yourself like a well honed machine - eat fresh fruit and veg and have a proper breakfasts. Fuel your brain as well as your body - no one can think straight on coffee and chocolate.
Sleep well. Wind down before bed and don't revise under the duvet - your bed is a sanctuary, not a desk. Get your eight hours.
Exercise. Nothing de-stresses the mind faster than physical activity, so build it into your timetable. Being a sloth makes our mind sloppy too.
Quit the bad habits.
Panic is often triggered by hyperventilating (quick, shallow breaths). So if you feel yourself losing it during the exam, sit back for a moment and control your breathing. Deep breath in and out through the nose, counting to five each way.
Steer clear of any exam 'post-mortem'. It doesn't matter what your mate wrote for Question 3(b), it's too late to go back and change your answers, so it will just make you worry even more.
Ultimately, don't lose sight of the fact that there is life after exams. Things might seem intense right now, but it won't last forever.
Childline & Staying Safe online
LGBT & Stonewall
If you need advice regarding LGBT speak to someone your trust, pastoral or visit the websites below for further support.
Out Central is a Youth group for young people age 11-19, who are LGBT or may be questioning their sexuality. Young people take part in a range of activities including trips out and social activities. Click on the link below for further information.
The Trans Youth group (Emerge) meets once a month on the first Saturday at Birmingham LGBT Centre, 38/40 Holloway Circus, Birmingham, B1 1EQ. The age range is specifically for 13 - 19 years old. It is a social group and support is there as and when required.
Your Digital Footprint
1. Use Privacy Settings. Let’s talk Facebook, shall we? Chances are pretty good that you can be counted among the 1.3 billion monthly active users of the social media giant, and there’s practically no other website that contains such a breadth and depth of personal information.
Put all your social media accounts on a short leash which will help you manage your digital footprint. Look into Facebook’s proprietary privacy tips or get the works from Lifehacker.com with it’s “Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy,”
2. Keep A List Of Accounts. Then delete the ones you no longer use. That myspace page you signed up for? Don’t just forget about it–find it and delete it.
3. Don’t Overshare . Don’t overshare. As much of an alien concept as it may be to students these days, the only sure-fire way to avoid digital footprint trouble is for them to keep quiet about anything they wouldn’t want to share with everyone in town.
This includes usernames, aliases, passwords, last names, full-names-as-usernames, pictures, addresses, and other important information.
4. Use A Password Keeper. This is more of a security thing, but the worst kind of footprint is the one you didn’t make that contains all of your sensitive information. It’s too much work to remember 50 different passwords, and every site has their own unique rules. Until someone solves this problem, the best solution is likely a password keeper
5. Google Yourself, You may be surprised what you find.
6. Monitor Linking Accounts. When you link your facebook or twitter account to that new site (whatever site that might be), you may not realize–or care at the moment–what you’re giving it access to. It’s usually safest to use a secondary email address to sign-up for new sites rather than granting this kind of access.
7. Use A Secondary Email. Whether you’re communicating with someone new, or signing up for a new social media platform, it can be useful to have a secondary email address.
8. You Don’t Need 12 Email Addresses. That said, you don’t need 12. Keep it manageable.
9. Sending Is Like Publishing–Forever
Every time you send a message, post, or picture, you’re publishing it the same way BBC does a news story. And the internet never forgets.
10. Understand That Searches Are Social
There’s another side to your digital footprint, too — it’s not always information that you choose to make public. Remember: Privacy controls or no privacy controls, Facebook still records and uses every scrap of information it gets to better determine its users’ marketing demographics.
Google pulls the same trick with search and browsing habits. If you're logged into their Google account, the service tracks every keyword you search, every Web page you visit and every time you visit Youtube.
There are ways, however, to control the bits of deep data that we leave strewn around. First of all, even though Google is practically an official synonym for “Web search,” it isn’t actually the only game in town. Less profit-motivated search engines like DuckDuckGo.com and Ixquick.com may take a little getting used to, but they do make explicit policy of protecting users’ browsing privacy.
11. Use Digital Tools To Manage Your Footprint. A host of browser extensions and app add-ons can also limit the surreptitious capture of personal information. Disconnect (Disconnect.me), DoNotTrackMe (Abine.com) and Ghostery (Ghostery.com) are examples of cross-platform extensions that block tracking cookies and give users control over site scripts.
Just remember everything that you post, tweet, comment or like is going down on their permanent record. Honestly, everything!