August 22nd, 2019
Like many young people across the country, lots of young carers will be receiving their exam results today.
Although this can be a really stressful time we want young carers to take a moment to recognise just what they've achieved. Studying is hard work at the best of times but studying alongside caring is incredibly tough.
Often young carers are juggling multiple responsibilities at home, having to squeeze in studying opportunities around a schedule they don't control. They are often tired and stressed out before you even factor in the pressure of exams!
So today we want to celebrate young carers, whatever their results, and reflect on what an incredible achievement getting this far in their studying journey is.
In our recent survey of young carers we found that 59% were tired as a result of their caring role and 37% were not getting enough sleep. An enormous 67% were left stressed out and 55% said they found it difficult to get their studying done.
All this amounts to exhausted, stressed out young people who are then placed in an exhausting, stressful schedule of revision and exams.
However isolating caring and studying can feel, it's important for young carers to know that they are not alone. There are at least 14,000 in Surrey and while eveyone will have a slightly different situation, there will be lots of common ground.
We recently heard from Rhianna who found school extremely difficult.
When I was at school I couldn’t have people over and that really affected my friendships. I didn’t have nice things and people didn’t always understand why.
Rhianna was sole carer for her Mum and was doing things like ironing from the age of eight. She found it hard to manage her studying and her home life but says that there were some aspects of being a young carer which have really helped her:
Although I found school very tough, being a carer has definitely helped me later in life. It’s given me resilience and the confidence to seek out other opportunities.
Although everyone will have a learning journey personal to them, it's good to remind yourself that help is on hand should you need it. We run transition workshops across Surrey to support young carers with things like planning for Uni or College. And there will always be options for next steps, even if your plan changes a little.
I remember when I was at school thinking, “Really, how am I going to do anything? I can’t even revise!” But it all worked out...
If you, or someone you know, need some help with managing caring alongside the next stages of learning then give us a call on 0303 040 1234 and remember that your exam results do not define you, you are much, much more.
And if you need some help with exam results specifically, have a look at the Young Minds.