If you opened your A-Level results today and the grades looking back at you weren’t what you’d hoped for or expected, there will no doubt be a wave of emotions and thoughts hitting you.
The outcome of many things will often reflect the effort one puts in, but other times there will be a mismatch of input and results. Whether this means that you’ve missed out on a University place, or simply didn’t achieve a grade you felt you worked for, it will hurt.
In the aftermath there can and will be many questions asked, and much soul-searching done but this is a waste of energy. You now have 2 choices. You can dwell on what didn’t happen or use these results as a springboard for the next step.
Here are the 3 things you need to remember:
1. Practice resilience.
Your results didn’t go to plan but the world is going to keep turning and you will have many fantastic adventures and meet brilliant people irrespective of the university or course you do or don’t do! Trust us on this one. This period of change is one that you can grow from and must try to pick yourself up before your emotions manage you. You have the capacity to adapt and be successful! It’s time to start solving the next step.
2. Think about what you desire to learn.
Ask yourself what you enjoy and what you look forward to studying. Did you perform better in a subject than expected? This will help make navigating clearing easier. We don’t recommend wild swings to subjects you’ve never studied i.e. applying for Mandarin and Accounting if your UCAS was five applications to study Medieval History. Your passions and interests likely haven’t changed overnight, so stay true to yourself! Thinking about your long term aspirations can help here. What subjects of study will help you get to that place? Many graduate-entry jobs will be happy to accept any degree subject as long as it has been completed to a high standard. So send yourself in the direction of study that you will truly be engaged with for the next 3 years.
3. Set yourself a game plan
As Baz Lurhmann wisely wrote ‘Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum’.
Your results will not stop the world from turning (even if it feels like they will do now - we promise!), use them to motivate yourself. Make a list of your passions and long term goals, shortlist areas of interest, give UCAS a call or check out their website, also give universities you applied to a call and see if there are places on similar courses or one that you applied to previously but didn’t accept an offer to.
Remember as part of your game plan to be kind to yourself. There are so many options available beyond immediate entry to university - a gap year can offer unique work experience opportunities, or time to study and retake exams if you feel that you want to. Keep dialogue open and the right decision will come your way.
Get in touch if you think you would benefit from the guidance of an Oppidan mentor.