The build up to receiving exam results can be a very daunting time, particularly when you have conditions to meet to secure your place at university or college. Whilst many of us have been there, there isn’t a huge amount that can be said to steady those jitters. However, here’s a few things to remember when results day rolls around.
If you’ve met expectations
Firstly, congratulations! All your hard work has paid off and you’ve made it into your choice of course. You should be really proud of your achievements, and get ready to make the most of it! But remember, the hard work doesn’t stop here.
You’ve proved you’re more than capable, so be prepared to up your game to really do yourself justice at uni or college. It’s so easy to buy into the idea that “first year doesn’t matter” and that you essentially have a free pass to go and enjoy yourself for the entirety of the first semester. While you should definitely use your free time to embrace your new environment, it’s a good idea to get yourself into a good routine as early as possible.
Thinking of your days as a 9-5 shift is an effective way of ensuring you have enough time to complete all your coursework and to catch up on reading while still leaving your evenings free for the fun stuff. Making an effort with your classes from the word go will save you a lot of stress further down the line when you have to pick your own electives, which are often allocated according to grades, or, even more importantly, when you eventually get round to applying for jobs. A lot of employers will demand a full transcript of your grades, so beware – having a bunch of resits in first year may come back to haunt you later.
If you’re going through Clearing
Getting knocked back from all of your uni choices is not the one. Clearing may not be an ideal situation to find yourself in, but there’s no need to worry. It’s always a good idea to prepare a few back-up options ahead of time, so that if you do find yourself searching through Clearing courses you have a better idea of what you’d enjoy.
Try not to let yourself apply for a course you’re uncertain about just because you think you should, as you may regret it later. Have a good think about your strengths and your interests in order to find a course that will work for you. There’s so many choices out there, you’re bound to find something, so keep an open mind, and it just might work out for the best!
If you have no idea
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do after exams, despite what your parents or teachers may think! You’re still very young, so it’s natural to feel overwhelmed at this stage. You won’t do yourself any justice by rushing into something you’re not ready for, so maybe consider taking a year out to really figure out what you want to do. Getting a job for a year is a great way to spend your time, and will bode well with university or college admissions staff or employers in the future. Think about travelling, apply for a college course linked to your uni ambitions, volunteer – put yourself out there and learn something new! Use this time to gain some life skills – it’ll be invaluable when you finally find the path you’re meant to be on, promise!