Hi Steph

I’m staying anonymous as I don’t want anyone knowing who I am but why do I feel so stressed about school and cba’s (classroom based assessments) as we’re not in school? I have to do them at home I’m finding it hard to do them as loads of other teachers are sending in work aswell and as they don’t like me very much idk why. Sometimes I forget to send in my work on time and they just think I’m doing nothing which in reality I’m trying to get everything done on time as I find it difficult doing the work as I’m not guided like I usually would in school. The teachers are just kinda shoving all the work on top also before we left school I was struggling with work and getting in trouble for late assignments. When we go back as I’ll be doing my junior cert I will feel like I will fail it as I missed out in so much work Ik I’m doing it at home but it’s not the same it’s easier when the teachers show us instead of just following instructions on what needs to be done 😔

Hi there,

Thank you and well done for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling so stressed out right now. 

You mentioned a few things so let’s separate them out:

(1) stressed about & struggling with school

(2) teachers don’t like you

(3) worried about junior cert

(1) Let’s look at this one first. It sounds like you’re under pressure because there’s so much coming at you, which is understandable. Lots of different subjects, from different teachers, with staggered deadlines, and no school environment or timetable to keep you on track. It’s totally acceptable that you’re feeling this way, it’s a normal response to stress. But it’s uncomfortable right? 2 things that will help here are planning, and breathing. Plan your day as best you can. Set a start time and end time to your days, with structured breaks, just like school. Then look at all the assignments collectively, write them all out on one big sheet and organise them into a structure; which one is due first, next, next, and so on. And also, which ones need more time than others. When you see everything as a big picture, it will help you to plan better. And then breathing, lots of slow, deep breathing to calm the nervous system and put you back in the driving seat. This will help with concentration too. 

(2) You mentioned that you think your teachers don’t like you. I’d like to know a little bit more about this one. How do you know they don’t like you? Is it possible that it’s not true? Do they treat others the same or different? I’d like to believe it’s not true and that they’re just busy or distracted. You sound like a great kid 🙂 

(3) And finally, the JC. I totally get that you’re worried about it. Your school year has been railroaded and there’s been lots of talk about exams in the news and the media for weeks now. Even though yours is next year, it’s bound to be on your mind. Because your year has missed out on the regular curriculum this year, there will be an understanding that you will all need more support next year. The teachers will help you to get back on track when you’re back in school. I would encourage you to write down all of your fears around school, curriculum, and exams in a letter. Keep it until September and see how you feel. If you still feel the same way when you get back, go to your year head, or guidance counsellor, and let them know your concerns. They are there to help you. And you’re not alone. I’ve received a few emails with the same concerns. 

You’re doing a smashing job – adjusting to a brand new way of learning, with no set structure, at such a young age (I’m assuming you’re 14 or 15?), is pretty impressive. It might not be going according to plan, but I can tell that you’re doing your absolute best right now. 

I hope this helped to ease at least some of your stress. 

Stay in touch if you need to, I’m here to help 🙂 

Take care, 


For more information on how to contact Steph for advice, click here x

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