A-Level Results Day. It symbolises the culmination of hours and hours of revising and reading (because as Ru Paul said: ‘reading is fundamental), copious litres of coffee and energy drinks (and of course water, because honey we all need to be hydrated), and lots of stress (with minimal sleep).
I remember being like a hamster on crack when I logged into my college student portal to view my results. Although I was immensely proud of what I achieved, I fell just short of my firm choice, and I didn’t really want to go to my insurance choice, so I ended up going through clearing and ended up at Queen Mary. Official stats show that I’m not the only one who has had to do this, in 2017 11,180 students ended up at their university through clearing, this doesn’t even take into account how many did so through their insurance. This was more than double the amount five years previously, indeed, in 2013 only 5,570 students had taken the clearing route.
I get that if you’ve ended up in similar situation to me, you might feel a bit disheartened and deflated, but honestly, if you’re coming to us in September via clearing or insurance, or any other Uni through this route, you are not a failure, you haven’t messed up, your life isn’t over. Be proud that you managed to sit those exams (maybe like me, your life wasn’t roses and peaches during May/June), be proud that you’ve achieved passes (not everyone has) and be damn proud you’ve made it to Uni!
No employer will ever know, that in your eyes, you didn’t do as well ‘as you should have.’ No one, including employers, work experience programmes etc, will give a monkey about what you got at A-Level, as soon as you start your degree, that is all that counts. Don’t compare yourself to those who ‘did better’, I saw the plethora of people, rightly so, celebrating their stellar results on social media. Who cares if they are going to Oxbridge, or a ‘higher ranking Russell Group’ or achieved seventy A*s. Also, what will feeling rubbish and diminishing yourself actually achieve? At the end of the day, these are your results, you can’t change the, so you might as well embrace them. Everyone is different, everyone has different abilities and everyone has a different path to take, and that’s ok.
Last year, as my first year drew to a close, I wrote an article reflecting on my experience. Seriously, give it a read, may save you having a breakdown or two – http://cubmagazine.co.uk/2017/06/pool-of-tears/ . My column is meant to be a safe space, where anything to do with what goes on in your noggin can be discussed in an informative, understanding and, if I may say so myself, hilarious fashion. Have a read through some of my past articles, I’ve talked about everything, from living with mental health problems, how different groups of people are affected by them, dealing with stress / relationships / bereavement / estrangement / dual diagnosis /Eds /abortion, how different art industries portray the subject, and topics which surround it, from government and student union policy, to the impact of sugar, social media and celebrities.
Now to finish off, if you found yourself struggling during your time at college, then please if you take anything from this piece, hear this, tell the university as soon as you enrol. Yes, maybe you want a fresh start and forget about your pain, but just to be safe, let QM know. Whether that’s sending an email to, or arranging a meeting with, your academic advisor, or calling the advice & counselling services to see if they can put any measures in place, to make your transition into life here as smooth as possible. You can even comment on these articles and I’ll message you in the blink of an eye and give any advice which may help you.
So, see you all in September and remember, never struggle in silence!