Alex's Answer

Exam stress and pressure from my parents about my future is causing me to lose my focus, can you help?

Your Question

hi alex, i think im crazy or something i cant focus on my work anymore its my final year and its getting so hard for me to study and its so so hard to learn im scared ill fail all my exams and wont get enough points for my leaving cert. My parents keep pressurising me about my grades and i dont know what uni i wanna go to or what i want to become 


Thanks so much for reaching out with your question.  

We are sorry to hear you are going through such a stressful time. We know how difficult that can be, but we also know how great it is for young people to share their problems. Talking about and sharing what is going on for you is a big step forward 

From your message we understand you are finding it hard to focus on your schoolwork, you are scared you will fail exams and your parents are putting pressure on you when it comes to your grades. 

Firstly, you are not alone. Many young people feel stressed and overwhelmed in their final year of school. Although unpleasant, it’s normal to feel this way at this time of life.  

Secondly, staying focused while studying can be difficult if there are lots of distractions around you. Sometimes making simple changes to our daily routine can make a huge difference to how we’re feeling, especially when it comes to staying focused. Getting enough sleep, eating healthily, making time for exercise, rest and fun are a few ways to keep yourself feeling happy and well, both mentally and physically. Before you start studying try getting everything you need organised and find a quiet place to study; for most of us, our beds are not good places to study in! Following the above steps can help you feel less stressed. The less stressed you are, the easier it is to concentrate. Coming up with a schedule – being sure to keep it realistic and achievable – and sticking to it can be helpful too. Try to remember that everyone learns in different ways and there are tools like revision books and guides, but if these don’t work for you there are other things you can try. You might find these articles helpful:  

Finally, you mention you are feeling a lot of pressure from your parents when it comes to your grades. Have you tried to tell them how you are feeling? They may not know what you are experiencing and feeling at the moment. Sometimes it may be difficult to open up to those close to us and tell them what is going on but talking really does help. Would you have another trusted adult or person in your life who you feel comfortable talking to, if you feel that you cannot talk to your parents? This adult could be a teacher, aunt, uncle, or a school counsellor. 

If you are finding it hard to talk to those in your life, you are very welcome to chat with the Childline Team. You can reach us by phone on 1800 66 66 66 or through our web chat on Childline services are free and confidential, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Childline is here for you whenever you would like to talk or chat. We would love to hear more about what is going on for you, and why you are feeling so stressed. We are here to listen to you and to help you look at options which may be available to you.   

We hope this helped and we hope you feel better soon! 

Take care,  


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