For my first post, I thought I’d start with something that will affect a lot of you this month: results day. Every year around this time I would get obsessively nervous, panicking about what I would do if I opened the envelope to disappointing results. I figured that I would jot down the top five tips that I picked up over the years on how to minimise the stress of results day (especially for those of you who are hoping to go to uni this year!).
1. Distract yourself
If you’re anything like me and the thought of getting your results fills you with absolute dread, then my number one top tip is to do anything you can to avoid thinking about it. Whether that’s getting a job, organising things with your friends or going off on holiday, the best thing you can do is to steer clear of anything to do with the dreaded day! It’s so much better to leave all your worries until the night before than to ruin your summer fretting about it.
2. Be prepared for anything
Now, I know I just told you to avoid the thought of results day like the plague, but before you lock it away into that box in your head, you might want to think about a plan of action for the different outcomes that you might face.
In an ideal world, you’ll open UCAS and be greeted my an unconditional offer from your firm uni, and get the results you hoped for or maybe even better. But it’s always good to be prepared for the worst, so that you don’t have to try and consider your other options when you’re upset and not thinking straight. For my A Level results day I did some research and made a list of different courses and universities, along with their clearing contact numbers. This way, if worst came to worst on the day, I’d already have all of my options in front me. This way, you will save yourself a lot of time and stress, and avoid just accepting something you haven’t properly thought through!
3. Use all the help that’s available
There are any number of reasons you might need help on results day: you miss your grades and need help with clearing, or you’ve got better grades than you expected and you want to try for a different uni, or you think your results might be wrong and you want them remarked. Make sure that you take advantage of anyone and everyone who is there on results day that is able to offer a helping hand. I was lucky not to need any help, but I know of friends who used clearing and ended up sat with a big group of friends and teachers calling various unis to try and get the best outcome possible!
4. Plan your celebration
If, despite all your efforts, you can’t stop worrying about results day, try and plan something fun to do afterwards. Then, every time you think about results day, you’ll have to think about whatever fun you’ve got planned afterwards. It could be going out for the day with friends or family after you’ve picked up your results, or going out with friends that night. If you’re happy with your results, then it’s a celebration, if you’re not so happy with them, then its a chance to move on and forget about it!
5. Remember, nothing will be the end of the world
As much as it feels like A Levels (or whatever exams you’ve just done) are the be all and end all of everything, nothing is final, and there’s always something that can be done to improve it.
As someone who has gone through GCSEs, AS Levels and A Levels and come through the other side, I can honestly tell you that they’re not the big deal that everyone makes them out to be. Once you get to Sixth Form, no one really cares what your GCSE results were, and the same is true for once you get to university. No-one is going to be talking about what they got in their A Levels over drinks at freshers’ week.
If you don’t get the results that you were hoping for, there is no doubt that you will be disappointed. The best thing you can do is pick yourself up and start focussing on the next thing. If you didn’t get into the university you’d planned on going to, plan your next move. Are you going to look at other unis or other courses and call them up to see if they have spaces? Are you going to take a gap year and apply again? Whatever happens, there are countless options for you that will end up being just as good as whatever you’d set your sights on. Rather than spending your time being down on yourself, try to focus all of your energy on making the situation better. As hard as it might be at the time, I promise you will thank yourself in the long run!
Good luck for everyone getting results this month, and if you liked this post make sure you stay tuned for more uni-related advice posts!