Frumpy A-Levels! 5 bits of advice for those who didn't do so well

Via the late sexyalevels

So, today was A-Level results day. If you picked up a newspaper you'd have seen the pictures of pretty girls jumping that decorate the occasion like tinsel at Christmas. Look at them, all excited because they got what they want. Aren't they lucky?

But not everyone's so lucky. You won't see any pictures of kids whose results look more like the name of a well known cable news channel thinking 'shit, what do I do now?' in the papers.

If you were one of those people today, you're not alone. I experienced A-Level results day three times. At none of them did I jump for joy outside the front of my school. So here's some friendly advice from some twat who has a blog and is desperately trying to fight off incipient middle-aged spread. Like a boss.

  1. You can always retake.

    It's a cliche because it's true: life is not a sprint. You might be looking at your results and dreading the idea of watching your friends go ahead while you now have to fart about with younger kids, but seriously, don't worry about it. One day you'll have friends ten years younger than you, and ten years older - maybe more. One or two years is nothing.

  2. Don't rush into anything.

    So you might have dodgy A-Level results but via clearing you can get into some place you've never heard of doing a subject that's never occurred to you before. Great!

    No, not great. Bad idea, my friend. You could end up finding out the place is rubbish and the course is a joke while you're half way through your first boring year there.

  3. Don't be afraid to start all over again.

    You might feel like you've painted yourself into a corner, or that you've wasted the years you spent on the subjects you didn't like so much and haven't done well at.

    You haven't. You spent your time learning these subjects weren't for you, and that's a good thing. You'll only be wasting your time if you carry on bashing your head against them. It's okay to put them all to one side.

    This leads neatly on to...

  4. Don't choose your subjects based purely on what job they might get you.
    It's more important to enjoy what you're doing. If you're picking a bunch of shitty subjects you hate in the hope they'll get you a dream job, you're kidding yourself. You'll have a miserable time and you might well end up getting the job and hating it, because guess what? You still have to do all those shitty things you hated doing at school and now it's your job.

    Imagine how much you'd feel like you'd painted yourself into a corner if you were five years into a career as you slowly realise it's not what what you imagined, it's not going to get any better and now you have a mortgage and a partner to think about. Who's in a corner now?

  5. Education is its own reward.

    It is. It bloody is. When I finally went to University at 28 to study English Literature, people constantly asked me, "what's that gonna get you?"

    I never said, "It's gonna get me an English degree, bitches!" but I should have. Does it help me with my job? A bit. It helps with this blog too. But I'm re-reading 'The Shining' right now and enjoying it a lot more than I did before I'd studied Gothic Fiction and all that good stuff. I get much more involved in what I read, and I loved doing that in the first place.

    There's no way I can see 'knowing a load more stuff about things you enjoy' could be a bad thing. Unless you enjoy Nazism or blowing things up or pushing little kids over or something.
It's easy to think the bottom's fallen out of your world on results day. You can feel like you've buggered up your whole future. But you know what? You probably haven't. A-Levels take two years, and you've got - what - another 60 or 70 of those to go?

Take a deep breath. You'll be alright.


ThereIsNoHiddenMeaning said...

What a thoroughly pleasant post. And all very true.

I did piss poor on my first attempt at A levels. And my second. After taking a year out to relax and smoke weed i had a 3rd try.

I'd picked law for one of my subjects, pretty much at random, as i needed to pick something just for the UCAS points. Ended up loving the subject and continued to study it a degree and postgraduate level.

Ernie Goggins said...

"One day you'll have friends ten years older - maybe more. One or two years is nothing".

(1) Leave me out of this.

(2) It may be nothing to you, young man...

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Ernie - are you really that much younger than me?

Liz Church said...

I have a video of my four now-irrelevant A-grade A-levels going in the shredder. To cheer people up. www.dailyturnout.co.uk Liz xx

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Wait...what? You have 4 As at A Level and you think they're irrelevant?

The Judge said...

Bravo, sir!

And I only wish I had had that insight to draw upon thirty-odd years ago.

Chris said...

Perfectly put - wish fervently I could have had this little chat with my 2003 self!