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Last Updated: Thursday January 22 2009 10:57 GMT

Why Worry? Sonali finds out about school worries

Sonali now and then

This week has been Why Worry? week at Newsround, where we've been taking a closer look at some of the things that worry you.

In the last of our special reports, Sonali's been finding out why some of you stress out about doing well at school.

When I was at school, I used to worry about what I would do if I didn't get great marks in class.

Believe it or not, at my school it was cool to be clever, so most kids were keen to do well. While most of the time, that was good thing, sometimes we all felt the pressure to come out top.

We've all heard that it's important to work hard at school and do your best. I think that's good advice. But what should you do if your best isn't enough to get the grades you want?

If you're trying hard, but still struggling with your school work, what should you do? Worry about it? Ask for help? Or is it easier to just give up all together?

Alright, enough questions...time to get some answers.

First stop - Bridgnorth in Shropshire to meet 16 year old Louis Barnett, who left school at 11.

He told me he didn't fit in at school - he got really bored in lessons and got into trouble with the teachers. That's why his parents let him leave at 11.

It was only afterwards that he found out he had dyslexia and dyspraxia - conditions which can make it difficult to learn - which explained why he couldn't cope in class.

Now leaving school might sound like a great idea if you don't enjoy it, but Louis insists it wasn't the easy option.

Louis and Sonali
Louis and Sonali
It's not like he could just sit around doing nothing while all his mates were in school.

Louis felt he had to prove to everyone, especially his parents, that not finishing school wouldn't mean he wouldn't do well in life.

So, he found something he was really interested in and has now become a real life Willy Wonka - that's right - he runs his own chocolate factory!

But of course, for most of you who worry not doing well in lessons, leaving school isn't an option. So what's the answer?

Next stop - a chat with educational psychologist Vivian Hill.

She said it's quite usual to struggle with school work - apparently one in five kids do. Her advice is if you are having a hard time is - don't be embarrassed to ask for help - that's what parents and teachers are there for.

If you've had help and you still feel you can't cope, then don't worry. You could be great at something more practical.

If you're good at fixing stuff, you could become a mechanic, if you're good at art, you could become a designer.

If you are worried about your school work, I think the most important thing to try and realise is that not doing well in class doesn't mean you're a failure.

Sonali's love of talking helps at Newsround
You might not be top of your maths class, but that doesn't mean you won't become a success in life.

When I was at school, I was always getting told off for talking too much in class. But instead of shutting up, I found a job where talking is a big part of what I do.

So instead of worrying about your school work, spend that time finding something else you're good at...and do your best to become great at it.


Why Worry
Why Worry? graphic