I really want to keep this short and snappy because I feel I’ve said this every single year for the past decade and not once was it on here.
So, A-Level results day is today and teens around the UK will open their results feeling joy or dismay and I’m here to tell you that whatever happens, you’ll survive. I know it’s easy for me to sit here 10 years after my own results day and say this, but guys I’m telling the truth!
Your life isn’t over if you don’t get the grades you want or need. You might think it is but you’re not getting out of this shit show called the world in 2017 that easy. I remember being 17 getting my results and I hung every hope and dream I had on the grades I got. I had it drilled in me that these grades set the precedent for the rest of my life.
THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Besides, at 17/18 years-old you don’t even know what life beyond the confines of classrooms is like. Let me tell you, life is barely being able to afford London rent prices but still willing to pay an extortionate amount of money to get your hair dyed rose gold because self-care is the best care. Ahem.
Okay back to my original point. My results weren’t exactly bad. I got B,B,D and getting the D (LOL) meant I didn’t get on the course or in the university I planned.
I went through clearing (which there is no shame in doing, don’t let snobbish redbrick university pricks tell you otherwise) and picked a random university close to home and did a course I had no interest in. Why? Because everyone else was going to university and I needed something to do!!!
Two months later I dropped out because I was miserable. I instead got a job and though it wasn’t ideal, I was now at least making money and learning the harsh realities of working life. Life lessons people!!!
For real though, I am so much better off for it. I ended up extending my unplanned gap-yaaah to two years because I got comfortable earning money and after seven years of following a routine of revising and sitting exams, I kinda liked a break from the cycle, y’know?
For a lot of people the natural progression after college is university and that’s fine. But if you find yourself not knowing what to do after you get your grades, don’t just jump on any course out of fear.
Fast forward to now and I worked as a teacher back in 2015 (can you imagine?!) and it was so shitty seeing other teachers thrusting university on students who were clearly in need of a break from studying or just not interested. And that’s okay! Not everyone has to go to university. I wish more people would realise that.
Whatever the outcome today, it’s not the end of days. There is this ridiculous level of pressure put on students to fear failing at something as if it doesn’t build character or put things into perspective. And even then, not getting the grades you need to get into university first time round doesn’t deem you a “failure” by any means.
I did eventually go to university two years later than planned and I like to think I’ve done okay??? I’ve worked in and out of three different industries and retrained last year and not once did my A-Level results determine any of it.
And besides, who said university was the ONLY way into a career anyway?
[Insert the affirming lyrics to Natasha Bedingfield ‘Unwritten’ here, because appropriate and what a SONG].