I have no photos from my A Level results,so here’s a great moment graduating Uni…
Yesterday marked the day that lots of young people (that makes me feel old using that as a phrase) picked up their results for their A-Levels. It got me thinking back to when I collected mine back in 2008. It feels like a lifetime ago, and I can honestly say I wasn’t the same person I am now.
I went to college in Brighton. At first I kind of resented it because I’d gone to school (and lived) in Epsom, Surrey and my parents picked me finishing secondary school as the perfect time to uproot and move to the town known as God’s Waiting Room – Worthing.
My first few months at college were hard. I was slowly making friends, but beyond college hours I didn’t go out with them – I was too busy going off back to Epsom to visit my school friends at the weekend. It made life difficult for my Mum and Dad, I know it, but in the end I actually think moving was the best thing to happen to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss ‘the old days’ sometimes, but by being almost completely reclusive at college, I got good grades and got into the Uni I wanted to go to (admittedly, one of the reasons I wanted to go to that Uni was because some of my friends I knew from my high school days were either already there, or going).
I ended up with 3 A-Levels, one less than I wanted – this was because I had to retake GCSE Maths, and I also dropped Theatre Studies after the first year, so I had to pick up General Studies instead as it was an A Level-in-a-year course. Only a few Uni’s accepted General Studies as a qualification – Portsmouth, my chosen Uni was luckily one of them.
Anyway, on results day I remember being ridiculously nervous. Being so keen to go to Portsmouth I knew I didn’t need mindblowing results to get in, but for the hard work I put in, I knew I deserved them. I had done really well in my Maths retake, having gone up 2 Grades (and best of all, actually now understanding algebra), but I really wanted to ace my A-Levels – English Literature and Language, Media Studies and General Studies. When I went to go and pick up my results, my Dad drove me in and waited in the car park. I had to queue for ages in the old, wooden hall of BHASVIC, and after what felt like forever, I got to the front of the line – to be told I had to queue somewhere else.
BHASVIC were withholding my results from me because I had an overdue library loan. I was convinced they’d got it wrong, and fought my case for my results – I don’t really remember how, but I imagine some sort of emotional outburst clinched it for me. They handed over my papers and told me to bring the DVD I had borrowed back as soon as possible. I nodded, ripped open the envelope and was so pleased. I knew I was in to Uni, but more importantly – I knew I’d done my best.
You may have noticed I’ve gone on a bit about Uni – in my mind it was my only option. I wanted to be a journalist and in my head that meant getting an accredited degree (on reflection, it doesn’t – you can independently learn and take the NCTJ accredited exams to qualify). I knew vaguely of my other options, but I didn’t really realise just how many there were. However, I wouldn’t change my mind now – regardless of the looming debt.
No matter what grades you get at A-Level, it is not the be all to end all. There are a select few careers where you really do need a degree, but there are still other paths to achieve the career you want. I, on the most part, thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Uni, but it isn’t the only experience. I can’t say I ‘got lucky’ with my good grades, I worked hard for them but even if I had not have got the grades I did, even if I had not have gone down the career path I have so far, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have achieved the job I wanted.
It’s all about being confident and passionate about the work you are interested in. I have always loved writing, and so I pour everything into it. Without blogging I wouldn’t have stood as much of a chance at getting the job that I have, even if I’d waved my degree under my employers’ noses.
Do you remember your A-Level results day?