Last year, as I left my first GCSE exam, I switched my phone back on and turned to Twitter, where reassuring negativity dominated my feed to make me feel better. Or so I thought.
I tended to try to completely shut out all post-exam discussions of answers fearing that I would hear the dreaded phrase, “That was so easy.”
No matter how hard I revised for the exam, I left strongly doubting myself. So rather than hanging around after an exam I would turn to social media.
Having avoided discussing any of the answers with my friends, I ironically read the thoughts of thousands and thousands of students from across the country instead.
I found that on social media you can share genuine worry in a way that it can still be laughed at through the use of memes and gifs.
Students would complain about how unfair the difficulty of the exam was, and reading so many like-minded tweets lessened the anxiety I felt.
Online venting has become the norm among students, giving us a platform to express our doubts as others agree and retweet, creating a sense of collectivism.
Nevertheless, the immediate reaction can be overwhelming. An infinite stream of various opinions flood social media for hours after an exam with some thinking it went well whilst others will voice how difficult they found it.
Some posts will make you recognise things that you didn’t pick up and make you want to kick yourself despite having no control over what you’ve already put down.
As a current A-level student, looking back at the unnecessary torment turning to social media caused me, I decided to ditch the habit.
Yes, letting off steam can make you feel better in terms of feeling like you are not alone in your qualms, but you cannot pick out which comments you see or do not see.
You will come across tweets that are witty but also ones that are just showing off. In spite of this, I do think a limited use of Twitter, and exposure to what others are feeling after an exam, can bring benefits like sharing memes to laugh it off or tweets blaming teachers and exam boards, which help you to feel a little better about yourself.
Hadjar Bennacer, 17