17/08/17 // It’s results day and I’m not gonna lie I was pretty worried. I woke up this morning, checked my phone and had a text telling me I got into my dream university!! I worked so hard this year and put everything I had into my exams and it’s all finally paid off. I’m so happy (and shocked) and I just wanna tell you all that putting in hard work and effort is so worth it in the end. I’m not a ‘naturally smart’ person, but I worked hard and ended up with the results I needed!! Hope the day has gone well for everyone else!
PSA: Stop saying shit like “results don’t matter”, “life has a different path for you”, “it’s not worth getting upset over” etc. PEOPLE HAVE SPENT 2 YEARS OF THEIR LIVES WORKING TOWARDS THESE RESULTS AND HAVE PLANNED THEIR ENTIRE FUTURES AROUND THEM. THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO WORRY/BE UPSET IF IT DOESN’T GO TO PLAN!!
If you work hard for something, then of course it’s going to be important to you. If you need a certain result to get where you want to be in life, obviously it matters, but no score, result, point or grade will ever be worth more than you.
So if you’re upset on results day, that’s okay. It’s valid no matter how many times you hear “you’ll be fine, it doesn’t matter in the long run” you don’t have to think bigger picture just yet. Feel disappointed and let down, but don’t give up. Process your emotions, then try again however you can.
I got my results 9 years ago (I know, I’m old, it’s fine) and over the years I have learnt some important things that I wanted to share.
1. Your grades do not define you as a person. You are a brave, beautiful, brilliant human being, not a load of letters on a piece of paper. You are not your grades.
2. (This one is a bit harsh, sorry to those who have just got their results). With every day that passes, your a-level results become less relevant. I can’t remember the last time someone asked me what grades I got at a-level. I’m fairly convinced that about 99% of my friends don’t know, or care, what grades I got. Other things become more important, like your experiences and your personality. A levels are just there to use as a stepping stone to something else. In the working world, it’s not that important.
3. You are not, and never will be, a failure. Thats just a fact. Accept it.
4. Life throws up weird shit at unexpected times, and this may be one of them. Go with it, you will look back and realise how different your life would have been, the people you wouldn’t have met, the places you wouldn’t have seen.
5. Social media is a bitch. It feels like the whole world is posting about how well they did and what university they got into and what presents they have been bought. I never experienced this with my a levels, that’s how old I am, but I did with my degree results. I know it’s the worst, but please know that you are not alone.
6. Please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. They have different life experiences and different shit going on in their life, they have a different way of working and of remembering things, and they are not you.
7. You know that friend that doesn’t do any work and then does really well anyway? It will catch up with them. And they will need you to be there and care for them.
8. Your grades do not define your worth as a human being. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s important, so needs to be said twice.
Feel free to drop me a message if you would like a girl in her late twenties to take care of you for a bit, or if you want some help deciding what to do next.
Why British Youth Have More to Worry About Than Americans
I’ve never realised how good American kids have it when it comes to the stress of being accepted into a university. Americans take what is basically the entrance tests– the ACTs/SATs– during their junior year (Year 12 for the Brits), and can pretty much gauge where they can get into and with how much effort they can get in with, especially since almost every school has a range of scores that accurately reflect the middle 50% of the student body. The tests themselves are pretty easy to prepare for, seeing as they always have the same subjects (English, Math, Reading, and Science for ACT; Math, Critical Reading, and Writing for SAT) and they are MULTIPLE CHOICE. Oh, and it’s not uncommon for a student to take the ACTs/SATs anywhere from 2 to 6 times.
British students have it SOOO much worse. They have to prepare for their “entrance exams,” aka A Levels, for two years in a single, dedicated subject, like Economics or History. It’s nowhere near practical for a student to retake the exam, especially if they took the A Levels and the AS Levels in one session at the end of their final year in school. And JESUS CHRIST the exams are no where close to being as easy as a multiple choice test. Those exams are written. Entire pages of my exam answer document have been dedicated to a single question. Then, just to add insult to injury, while us Americans are packing and prepping for the university we got accepted to in APRIL, British kids are just waiting to see if they made the grades to GET IN!!! It gets even worse when you mention that some Americans start their University courses before British kids EVEN KNOW IF THEY’RE GOING TO UNIVERSITY!!! And God forbid the horror that befalls those who don’t get the grades they need for their choice university and have to go through clearing…
In all, I have so much respect for British students. They have far more strenuous testing conditions and far more stress to deal with. I wish you the best on your results!