As a university student, A level results day seems a lifetime ago. However, it taught me some extremely valuable life lessons- lessons which I wish to share within this post. Hopefully you won’t need to follow any of my advice as you will be too busy celebrating your achievements, however here is my advice for when things don’t quite go to plan.
Although I have always been academic, there became a point throughout my years at college where I became very anxious, the thought of an exam terrified me and I doubted my ability significantly. Unfortunately, this affected my performance in exams, where I suffered severe panic attacks. I had many a sleepless night in college. I am happy to say that this is not the case anymore. As I was aware that my anxiety and panic may have affected my exam results, I knew I needed to have a backup plan, and this was one of the most important things for me leading up to results day. I was able to face results day knowing that whatever happened that morning, I would be okay, because I knew what the next year, at least, would hold.
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of not doing as well in your exams as you’d hoped. I did think about it, because I expected it to be a real possibility. I fully expected to have failed my exams. My plan at that point would have been to re-sit the year. It wasn’t ideal by any standard, but it was realistic. At least that way I could still go to university, it’d just be a year later than my friends- not the end of the world.
As I’d applied to university originally to do a different course than the one that I wished to study (I couldn’t make up my mind, I’ve never been particularly decisive), I knew that I’d have to make a phone call to the university on results day anyway, regardless of what my grades were- so I had the phone numbers for the clearing lines ready to call, it saved searching for them on the day. I did have to make that phone call, but I will touch on that later on. It may be worth having the phone numbers for the clearing lines of the top few universities that you would like to go to- just in case!
My next piece of advice would be: if your grades aren’t as planned don’t give up on yourself too early. I opened my results day envelope to grades better than I expected, but I still didn’t think that they were good enough to get myself into university. I was encouraged by a member of staff at college to call clearing anyway- the worst that they could say was no. I called them, anxiously awaiting a response, discussing my grades with the university despite them being below the entry requirements. To my amazement, I was offered a place at my first choice university, to do the course that I really wanted. So, if results day doesn’t go as planned, call clearing, you never know.
The point of this post really is to encourage you that everything works out okay in the end. You’ll have done wonderfully and hopefully won’t need to take any of the advice that I have given! Looking back, my results weren’t as planned, I was devastated on results day. However, my results got me where I needed to be. Don’t be too hard on yourself, believe in your ability, and be proud of yourself no matter what happens. Your grades do not define you. Celebrate your achievements, you deserve it! Good Luck for results day!