Every year in August, school and college halls are filled with anxious students eager to open that magic brown envelope containing what they hope to be their passport to life. In those nervous few seconds that it takes to open up the envelope and read the information, dreams can equally be realised or shattered. For those who have achieved their goals – hugs, kisses, tears and the beginning of an exciting chapter in their lives. But, for those who have not quite achieved what they had hoped and dreamed of – a different kind of tear, one that is wiped away as quick as the results are put back in the envelope. What next for these students? What about their September dreams and plans?
Missing the Boat
I was one of those students, one of the ones trying to slip into the background, putting on a brave face that told the world that my results didn’t matter…….but they did. My results effectively ruined my plans of moving on to university and taking up a place on my preferred course. For the first time in my life I felt like I had nowhere to go – a homeless academic. My disappointing results had meant that I’d missed the boat – and to make it worse, all my friends were on that boat.
On the way home from college with my results hidden away from the world in my pocket, I made the decision to go back to college again in the Autumn to re-sit my A levels. My aim was to be able to jump on that boat the next time it was set to sail. Returning home that afternoon I informed my mum of my results, my feelings and my revised plans for the forthcoming Autumn – I wouldn’t be spreading my wings as planned.
Later that evening, my mum was watching the news with the usual interviews on results day of happy students clutching their precious passports to life. One interview in particular made her sit up and take notice – a student with similar results set to mine was talking about how she was off to university in September. This was all a supportive parent needed to hear – ‘If they can go……..’
In the weeks that followed, my mum single handedly changed my focus and direction. Why waste a year of my life re-sitting exam results when I could be out there making it happen for myself? The support that I was shown in those few weeks, when I needed it most, has certainly defined my life to date. I was driven to universities across the country to look around along with trawling through newspapers and calling universities for ‘clearing places’. In the end, the course and university I chose and was accepted at, was just right for me. It was the perfect boat, ready to set sail on the most incredible journey.
Shaping Who I Am
With hard work and a desire from that day onwards to be the best that I could be, I managed to create my own passport to life. I’m now a Deputy Headteacher at a large school in the north of England helping other young people try to realise their dreams. When I reflect, it is clear that I needed that home support. It is one day in time that I believe has shaped who I am today.
Support from your parents is crucial when making big decisions. It is not a sign of weakness. Results day is one of those times. Be open, be honest and seek advice from the people who know you best. Even though I thought I knew the direction that I was going to travel, I would have never travelled the journey I have without the support that I received that day.
Thanks mum x