I am starting my GCSE's and I am starting to get really stressed easily. Also I am losing all the confidence I had built up over the last few years I have been in my school. Do you have any advice? Joanne
Thank you for sharing your worries.
I remember GCSEs being a really tough time too. I spoke to my friend who is a teacher and she gave some great advice:
‘I know it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to your exams, but try to take it one day at a time - making a revision plan will help with this. I would really suggest speaking to your tutor/teachers about how you’re feeling, they can often provide extra help if you’re struggling. Try hard not to compare yourself with your friends, but help each other by studying together in groups.’
Joanne, please don’t let these worries about your exams strip you of your confidence, something that it sounds like you’ve worked hard to build up. Your happiness and self-confidence is worth more than any grade or mark. When you find yourself getting stressed or worried try to remember, all you have to do is try your best.
Keep going girl, you’ll be great.
‘How would I cope with crying all the time’
Hi Meg, I'm just wondering how would I cope with crying all the time for no reason at all. Love Becky.
Thanks for getting in touch.
You’re not alone, I cry quite a bit, sometimes for no reason too. I think it’s fair to say that us girls, by nature, generally cry more easily than boys do. Let me set the record straight, it’s TOTALLY normal to have a cry and let your emotions out. In fact it can be really helpful!
The way our girl hormones develop can be really full on, especially when we are teenagers, as it’s a time when our bodies are changing a lot. This can leave us feeling all over the place at times, and is quite a lot to cope with. It sometimes means that we feel jumbled up about how to cope with situations, and tearful as a result. BUT it isn’t weird, and it’s OK to cry!
If you do recognise that there are situations or people upsetting you, it could be a good idea to find someone that you trust, and share how you’re feeling with that person. Don’t struggle alone Becky, you matter!
Lots of love to you xx
‘I really wish I could just build my confidence up.’
I'm getting more and more less confident in myself now
I am so stressed at the moment nothing is going right.
I'm finding it harder at school than ever, my confidence has just gone so low and I can't do anything now. I always freak out about tests and my future. I hate school so much, I'm just finding it so tough.
I'm too scared to go to athletics as I'm worried about what people will think of me if I fail or do something weird and I really love sport, this is stopping me from doing things I really want to do. I wish there was a way I could stop being scared.
On top of that I'm worried about keeping my friends and fitting in. Sometimes I feel like I don't fit in with anyone and I'm the worst friend ever! I really wish I could just build my confidence up. Thanks love Megs, 13 xx
You’ve been on my mind ever since I since I read your message. So here’s what I’m hearing...
‘stressed’ ‘low confidence’ ‘freaking out’ ‘hate school’ ‘scared’ ‘worried’ ‘fail’ ‘worst friend’.
Stop. Just for a moment.
You’ve really got to stop being so hard on yourself.
Sometimes I think we can talk ourselves into a hole, telling ourselves that we aren’t confident, telling ourselves that we’re a bad friend or that we’re scared. The more we tell ourselves that we are something, the more we become it – don’t you think?
Well if that’s the case, then why don’t you tell yourself that you ARE these things?...
You are brave (for sharing your worries)
You are unique (there is no one else is the whole world like you)
You’re a work of art (seriously, you are! Take a look at the 'Did you know' film at the bottom of the 'koko videos' page)
You are talented (even if you don’t believe me)
You are loved (by many)
Everyone has days that are harder than others – I get well emotional sometimes! As we get older we go through so many changes and it can be tough!! Especially during certain times of the month.
Ok so right now maybe you’re feeling really rubbish but you know, tomorrow is another day. You have a choice, cling on to all the negative stuff that you believe about yourself. Or begin to focus on the positives.
If you feel you can, share these things that you’re worried about with someone that you trust.
But Megs, keep going. Keep being yourself.
Try not to compare yourself with other people around you. Do the things you love, don’t be held back – you are just as important and valued as anyone else, ok? I think you need to remember that.
Lots of love, Meg xx
It hurts that they left me out
Hi, I'm having some problems with my friends. I was with my two best friends from school yesterday and we had a nice day together. Then, when I was on my way home from my boyfriend's in the evening, I saw one of them walking home with a couple of people, so I messaged them asking what they'd been up to. The one I'd seen said that she'd been in town with a few others from sixth form and they were going back to hers for pizza. My problem is, they hadn't mentioned having any plans when we'd been together earlier. It hurts that they left me out. I don't know whether to talk to them about it or not. This sort of thing has happened before: they've been to parties and I haven't even known until a few days later. I consider them to be some of my closest friends, so I end up getting upset when they don't even tell me about these things. What should I do? Chloe
Chloe, this is a really upsetting situation isn’t it? I’ve been there.
You said in your message that you’re not sure whether to talk to them or not, well if you feel that you can, I think that’s a really good idea. Why don’t you just be really honest with them? Try not to accuse them or begin an argument but when an appropriate moment arises gently let them know how it feels. It’s always good to get things out into the open.
The reality is that friendships do change as we grow older, if the situation doesn’t get sorted always be open to making new friends. Please let me know how it goes. Lots of love, Meg x
Making new friends
Hi. I'm finding it hard at school to ask people to play and stuff and it make me feel sad. Can you please recommend some advice. Eaven
Thank you for your message.
I used to find it hard at school too sometimes, I remember sitting on one of the school benches watching other people messing about and laughing with their friends – it’s lonely isn’t it?
There’s nothing wrong with feeling shy but when it’s stopping you from having fun and developing great friendships then I reckon it’s time to do something about it hey?
Loneliness really is horrible but you know you can totally conquer it by being brave, taking a deep breath and simply going to say hello to someone and ask how their day is going – take it from there and get to know them. The reality is that there are going to be other people feeling exactly the same as you so I would suggest you look closely for them. Whenever, wherever possible talk to new people, I know it’s hard but it really is worth it.
Lots of love, Meg x
A friend who’s changed
Hey Meg. Well .... um I have a friend who I have known since I was very very little and she was always a funny, caring, bright, bubbly girl but now she has turned dark and likes knives and also really scary things. I worry about her ALL the time. Is there any way I could help her or stop myself worrying? Thanks, Grace
Thank you for your message. When we’re trying to help people it’s always a good idea to look behind the problem to see what might be causing it. Reading your message made me wonder whether your friend has experienced something major in her life recently. For example bereavement, family breakdown or self-esteem problems. You say she’s turned ‘dark’ – perhaps she’s also reading or watching things that aren’t healthy for her.
You didn’t mention whether you’ve spoken to her about this but if you feel you can, try telling her gently that you’re worried about how she’s changed. It’s really great that you care for your friend but remember, you can only help someone if they want to be helped. We can’t control people behavior.
You said that your friend likes knives; If you are concerned that she may hurt herself or someone else then I would suggest that you speak to a responsible adult who knows you well.
I really am hoping that she comes back to her fun and bubbly self again soon.
With love, Meg x
‘How do I deal with people passing away?’
Hi Meg, how do I deal with people passing away? The people I love have been ill and I find it hard to not focus on it all the time. Charlotte
It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot at the moment. When I read your message I knew who I should talk to – my friend Sarah lost her best friend in 2010. I told her what you’re facing and this is what she wanted to say to you:
"Hi Charlotte, I am sorry to hear that you're going through a difficult time. As Meg has already said, I lost my best friend Hannah a few years ago, so I have an idea of what you're feeling as you cope with people close to you being ill and also preparing yourself for when they may pass away. It is so difficult to not let this sadness take over your outlook on life and the time you spend together with them. Here are just a few suggestions of some things that may help you to make the most of the time you have together …
- Everyone copes with ill relatives&friends/people dying and grief in very individual ways. Remember, there is no correct or incorrect way.
- Be honest and open about your feelings as much as possible.
- Try to do positive things together. Go places, make memories, take photos.
- Keep memorable things. Make a scrapbook or a keepsake box.
- Don’t be afraid to cry.
I hope these help you, the most important thing I can encourage is for you to be honest and open with your family and friends about your feelings at all times and not to feel you need to hide them in anyway. Life is precious so try to enjoy your time together as much as possible, love Sarah x"
Please keep in touch Charlotte, sending lots of love to you. Meg xx
‘People do things I know my parents wouldn’t want me doing’
Hi Meg. I have met you before at my church but I didn't really speak to you. I have a quick question. At school lots of people do things I know my parents wouldn't want me doing and I constantly feel left out in well, what I think is fun stuff. Could you help me with this situation? Thank you, Chloe xxx
It’s really great that we’ve met, if I visit your church again make sure you say hello!
Firstly it sounds like you’re being strong and are trying to respect to your parent’s views. That must be tough - well done! It’s always hard when pressures from other people give you difficult choices to make.
When a person (in this case your parents) tells us something is wrong it’s sometimes really great to get beyond the ‘wrong’ part and begin to understand why they think so, and how they have learnt to make those choices in their own lives. Maybe chatting to your parents and/or someone else you trust at church about how to make healthy choices would be a good step, and will help you have confidence about your decisions – even if it does still feel a bit lonely.
It’s really horrible feeling left out. I don’t know what these people at school are doing, but if it’s troubling you I wonder whether it might be time to widen your circle of friends? Perhaps look out for other people who you have more in common with.
Stay strong and be yourself as you get to know deep down what is wrong and right for you. Stick to your decisions. You know, standing up for what’s right might actually encourage others to do the same. Keep on keeping on girl!
‘I am learning to love myself’
Hi, I have mentoring 2 times a week and I am learning to love myself and others, but I have found it hard in the past and cut my arms and I feel like people judge you. I would love to have help with why people judge you. I have started to write a bucket list of what I should do to live my life to the full. I am ready to start an adventure with you. Kelsey xxx
Hi Kelsey. Thank you for your message. It’s really great to hear that you’re learning to love yourself and that you’re being mentored. Thank you for being honest with me about your story. We all have ups and downs and I think to be honest most people worry about what others think of them, I know I do sometimes! I don’t have the answer as to why people judge others, but I think we’re all guilty of this at times. Remember, all you have to be is yourself.
My hope is that through your mentoring your confidence will grow and worries about being judged will fade away. It’s exciting that you’re thinking ahead with your bucket list and that you’re on board with the koko adventure! *high five* Lots of love, Meg x
A friend in need
Hi Meg, my best friend is really ill and has an operation soon. How can I make her stay positive? Anon, Plymouth
Hey, thank you for getting in touch. It's really tough when people we love aren't well but I love your question about helping her to stay positive, it shows you really care for her. She will probably feeling lots of different emotions right now, she might be scared or worried or angry. You can't make her stay positive but there are perhaps a few things you could do to help her smile.
Number 1, just be there for her. Often we feel like we need to say things to make a situation better but just spending time with her will be enough. Something which might be nice is to print off lots of photos of you two throughout the time that you've been friends and make her a little photo album - she can look at this whilst in hospital. If you're feeling super creative, you could write a poem about your friendship or next to each photo you could write a reason why you love her being your friend. Perhaps you could invite her over for a girlie evening, watch her favourite film and make sure you have her favorite food at the ready... ice cream is always a winner! Another idea is to send her positive quotes every now and again - keep an eye out on koko for these. Other than that, just be you - there's a reason why you're best friends and there's always comfort in friendship. Lots of love to you and your friend. Meg x