Back when this blog was really new in 2014, I wrote a post about results day. (Read here!) I remember feeling really proud of it at the time, and I still agree with a lot of the sentiments I shared in that post. So, I wanted to go over them again, while adding a few new points to it.
Now, it’s worth noting that I have always been a Jack of all trades. Never a straight-A student. Just okay at most things. Never really excelling, but rarely failing either. I’ve been to uni twice; I’ve got 11 GCSES, A-Levels, a 2:1 degree, and a postgraduate diploma. So, being an average student hasn’t harmed me that much, has it? Here’s some advice for my fellow Jacks of all trades…
Top tips for dealing with results day:
Don’t compare yourself to others – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. My school friends are super clever people, who I can’t really compete with in the intelligence stakes. Let’s just say I spent far too long at school feeling inadequate about the fact I wasn’t as good at science as they were. I was more artistic and creative, but school didn’t even offer me much opportunity to unleash my creative flair; with the exception for drama. (Which I later went to get a degree in.) Focus on your strengths, and stop worrying about not being good at everything.
Don’t watch the news – Now, as a trained journalist and official news addict, I shouldn’t be advocating cutting the news out of your life, but on results day, you’ll be better off without it. That means not watching the TV news, not listening to the radio news, AND not reading your local newspaper, even online. Avoid the news like the plague for a couple of days, because I can guarantee that you’ll only be bombarded of pictures of straight-A students, in mid-air, clutching pieces of paper with ecstatic grins plastered all over their faces. If you’re an average student like I was, that is going to make you feel rubbish. So, just avoid it.
If you fail, you fail – It really isn’t the end of the world. I got a D at GCSE Graphics. Has it harmed me in the long-run? Absolutely not. I can say with total certainty that my inability to grasp third-angle orthographic projection (still don’t really know what it is, ten years on) hasn’t hampered my life and career prospects. You can always resit exams, can’t you? So don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t got the grades you wanted, because there’s no point making yourself feel even worse. Life’s too short for that.
Don’t cry over GCSES and A-Levels – Embarrassingly, I cried on the way back from picking up my AS results. I even had to walk past a group of very perplexed-looking builders whilst sobbing and clutching a tear-stained envelope, because I’d not achieved the grades I wanted. It might seem like the end of the world on results day, but you’ll soon feel better and move on. It isn’t worth getting upset over, because there are lots of options if you’ve not done as well as expected.
You can only ever do your best – And if your best isn’t good enough? It might be hard to accept right now, but it really isn’t the end of the world. You are still capable of great things, even if you don’t know what third angle orthographic projection is either!
Exams are important, but they’re not the biggest challenge you’ll face in life. It might seem like it right now, but they’ll seem insignificant a few years down the line. I promise.
Whatever grades you achieved – well done! You did your best, so pat yourself on the back!