When results day rolls around each year, I can’t help but think back to how I felt at that moment… the fear, the expectation, the promise of a whole new world ahead of you, all riding on the letters held within that brown envelope (I know I’m showing my age now – letters rather than numbers!)
Everyone tells you “success doesn’t lie in the results”, but when you’re in that moment, I know these words fall on deaf ears.
Now you’ve had a moment to absorb, to reflect and to focus on what these results mean for you, it’s time to look at what the future might hold, whether of not that fits into the life template you had planned out.
You may have spent the last few years working towards a specific goal – university, but for whatever reason that might not be possible right now… So, what are you going to do?
First of all, trust me, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not the end of all your dreams and aspirations… You have options.
If you’ve not achieved the grades you need for whatever reason, and you haven’t already, get on the blower to your university of choice. Circumstances change quickly – if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that. Live by the mantra of if you don’t ask, you don’t get and if university is the dream for you, then make sure you make that call. And call your first, second, third and last choice if you have to. Just be 100% sure this path is for you, don’t be desperate for something because you think “it’s the done thing.”
If you can’t find the right place for you, right now, it might be the best time to take a break. Take a gap year. Up to now, you’ve spent most of your life in the educational cycle and once you get onto the 9-5 merry – go – round, it’s unlikely you’ll get this kind of opportunity again. Take it as the time you need to really evaluate what you really want, you could spend your time travelling, boosting your grades to re-apply to university next time round, you could start temping roles – the world is quite literally your oyster and try not to take that for granted.
MIX IT UP
Going to university isn’t the only way to get a degree… you could also consider an apprenticeship, which would give you the vital combination of work experience and study, something which university can’t quite give you.
What I’m trying to say, is the traditional route is not the only route and I’m a big believer that what is mean for you will never pass you by. Back in 2004, when I collected my exam results, I was lucky enough to achieve the grades I needed to be accepted into my first choice – Birmingham University. I was ready to follow my dream to become a writer and was convinced this was the only way to achieve that dream. I still have that offer letter now.
However, my circumstances changed, and I had to decline my place and get a job. Now 16 years later, I work as a Corporate Communications Business Partner, where writing is a huge part of my job, plus I get to blog in my spare time. And guess what, I’m finally working towards getting a degree, aged 34. I’m halfway through a Level 6 Marketing Management apprenticeship through my company, which I am incredibly grateful for.
So whilst right now, things might not be going to the plan you had in your head, trust the process you’re right where you need to be right now and there isn’t just one path to where you want to be. Open your mind to the possibilities available to you.
Good luck, you got this.