It’s that time of year again! Where we see a cohort of students receive their grades, both A Levels and GCSE, and they step into a new phase of their lives.
At PLMR, we’ve reminisced about our own results day and share our thoughts and experiences with you!
I remember my heart beating in a different way on the day I got my A Level results. It was like life had suddenly got a lot more serious and my heartbeat had grown weightier and more inexorable with it. I was pleased with my results and got into the uni of my choice but even with a good outcome I wouldn’t want to do the day over again. I can definitely remember the ‘thud thud thud’ of reality looming.
The advice I would give to anyone collecting their results is not to worry about the scores receive. By the time you are collecting your results, there is nothing extra you can do to affect your result, so worrying about it will just take years off your life. Also, those who exceed in university are those who apply themselves, rather than those who go to the ‘best universities’. I’d recommend using the day to celebrate with friends & family because there is plenty of time to think about your next steps and life plan!
Surprisingly, results day for me was pretty calm! I’m very much a believer in ‘what you think about, you bring about’ so I tried to stay as positive and upbeat about the whole process. Thankfully, the news was good and I just remember going out with my friends that night and having the best time!
For anyone getting results next week, my advice would be to make peace with the fact that unless you have the ability to travel back in time, worrying or panicking about what will be is absolutely pointless!! What will be will be, BUT what will be doesn’t have to be all there is!! There’s a big, bad, beautiful world out there and it’s all yours for the taking, regardless of what your results say!! While exams are important, the only thing that truly shapes your future, is you!
I am a classic example of not succeeding at first, but taking a slightly different path. I did pretty badly in my A levels the first time around and thought it was the end of the world. But, in the long run it worked out great. I went into the world of work for four years, got some fantastic experience and then went back to college to do three completely different A levels in an intensive course. I was much more motivated the second time around, because I had a better idea of what I wanted to do. I got the results I wanted and was able to go to university to study English Literature. The delight of getting the grades I needed and getting into the university I wanted was made even sweeter by the memory of not having got great grades the first time.
I’ll never forget how I felt walking up to my Sixth Form to collect my A-level results, hesitating outside the school gates trying to muster up the courage to go in. Before I knew it, my phone pinged with a ‘welcome’ text from exactly where I was hoping to end up, the University of Exeter – of course, this soon took the edge off opening the envelope and probably shows just how much universities and UCAS now rely on technology to engage with students!
No matter what kind of result you’re waiting for, it’s a good idea to make sure you get a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast, as there’s no way you can celebrate or make informed decisions about your future if you’re not feeling energised. I would also advise to have an open mind – things don’t always go as you want them to and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having to go with a contingency plan, so make sure you do your research and know what all your options are.
My original A Levels were a CDEU. I’d completely flunked the three sciences and math, my university and career dreams were in tatters, and worse still I had a two hour bus ride home to face my mum. After the inevitable parental ear bashing, I picked myself up, sold ice cream all summer, and then went back to college to fast-track A-Levels in Law, Politics and History. Looking back on where life has taken me since, and everything I’ve achieved and experienced having pursued politics at university and for a career, failing my A-levels the first time around was the best thing that’s happened to me.
My results day was both exciting and nerve wracking; I knew that whatever awaited me later on in the day could have a huge impact on the rest of my life. The news I received meant that I got my insurance choice at University. Initially, I was disappointed, but it turned out to be the best news I could ever hope for. Everything happens for a reason and in the end, everything will work itself out.
I remember waking up and checking UCAS straight away to see if I had got into Queen Mary. As soon as I saw that I had been accepted, I was buzzing for the rest of the day. I didn’t even really care what my grades were by the time I went to pick them up, I was just so excited to be moving to London. My best advice would be to remember all the hard work that has got you here – you should be SO proud of yourself!
I remember sitting on the sofa with my mum early in the morning waiting for UCAS to open to find out if I got into University. I don’t remember much from the day (probably from being so anxious), but I do remember feeling like this one email was the be all and end all. And of course, my dad’s ferocious pacing up and down the living room!
My biggest piece of advice would be to remember that everything happens for a reason and if you’ve done your best, that’s all you can do. Enjoy the day with your friends and family – make a big deal out of it, it will fly by!
My A-Level experience was a bit all over the place. I chose my subjects a year before with an eye to doing medicine somewhere remote and prestigious, and then changed my mind at the last minute when the concept of seven years hard study finally dawned. I’m sure my family were absolutely thrilled that their would-be doctor was now off to study Philosophy at a tiny university college that no one had ever heard of – but it was the best decision I ever made. At that Uni I got into student politics and media in a big way and learnt some of the skills and abilities that I use every day here at PLMR.
Essentially my advice is your A-Levels are a snapshot of who you were and what you thought you would be at a time in your life when you know neither for sure. They only matter if you want them to – they’re one of many possible stepping stones to where you want to go.