Accidental Advice

The Right and Wrong of Results day

Students collected their exam results today, Source: kennysarmy (Flickr)
Results day, billed as the start of the rest of your life, but here's why it's not.

By Charlie Knights

Results day. A day of pure fear for most final year students who are anxious to get off to university. It’s difficult to understand quite why we feel this, I remember thinking when I woke up that morning that there was nothing I could do. The dice was cast, I just had to have a look and find out where I was going. Back to the world of reality however, I had been building myself up over the last several months telling myself that I was going to Nottingham, and I was going to play Ice Hockey, and be cool. Two years on, exactly none of those three things have happened, but goddamn if I am not happier than I have ever been.

Picture little 18 year old Charlie, still just as short, still with weirdly exuberant dress sense, missing years of wisdom and this wispy Orlando-Bloom-In-Puberty-esque goatee that seems to be my fashion this summer. I woke up, checked my phone, found out I hadn’t got in to Nottingham. Went into school to pick up my results, knowing that my grades were not going to be good enough, but hopefully enough to find out if I had got into Cardiff. I actually ended up getting grades that were a full grade in every subject lower than I needed to study Law.

Cue me being terrified I was never going to get into uni, cue me sitting in the Costa down the road with my parents, wanting to know how I was going to get into university, wanting to know what I could study. I had a five year plan that was very specific. How were my future children (Michael and Niam) going to get into private school when I now wasn’t going to be a successful Defence Barrister?! As you may be able to tell, I tended towards overthinking things back then.

Then I got an offer, from Cardiff, without having to go through clearing, for a different course. One which I enjoy more, and gives me the time to write arguably award worthy articles for you gentle viewers (I may not plan as much anymore, but I’m still full of myself). I didn’t ever have to stress, I got on one I had already written a relevant dissertation for as part of my Extended Project Qualification.

What I am trying to say is that there is no perfect results day. Well except for Comment editor Jess who not just got into university but ended up featured in the paper for getting such good grades, show off. Results day always has its ups and downs, and it has taught me that I can’t plan my future to the letter. I have an end goal, but what takes me there is completely out of my power. Focus on getting the best grade at being YOU. Don’t run yourself ragged and tear your hair out because you didn’t get the perfect grades that got you to exactly where you wanted to. I have a friend who got A*A*A*A, and was a bit upset because he didn’t get the full sweep.

Results day is a slip of paper, which tells you where you are going to university if that’s what you want. It isn’t the essence of who you are. The sun will still rise, your family will still love you, and Camilla Cabello will continue to disappoint me with her solo career. You’ll end up exactly where you wanted.

Since coming to university I discovered that Ice Hockey I much prefer to watch, that I love being close to town and not being on a closed campus university, and that I will always be happy to sell my soul to student media. I want to assure any future students that are reading this that it is going to be okay. By the time you are reading this you probably have already received your results, so congratulations no matter what you have got, so for the rest of this article I want to mention a few things to do in the next few months.

Join as many Facebook groups as possible, find out who you are living with. I found two of my housemates before coming to university, one who ended up dropping out, and one who I didn’t hang much with in first year but it was comforting having some names before I came to university. The Facebook groups will always be fun, and give you an excuse to find out about a bunch of people you will never meet.

Read your student media from the university. Obviously we are biased, but Gair Rhydd and Quench especially give you a good idea of what will be happening on campus. Where better to get your knowledge about the university you want to attend than the journalists living, breathing, and writing about it?

Finally, I got a tweet this morning from Public Health Wales, asking me to remind incoming students about the MenACWY vacinee. Meningococcal is absolutely no joke, and the NHS provides this for free, yet over 25,000 people aged 18 in Wales still haven’t been vaccinated. Even if you are a mature student, it is free for young people up to 25! Get Vaccinated! Ideally more than 2 weeks before you come to university.

A-level-maths-exam-results-520x265.jpgSo that’s pretty much it. You’ll kill it whatever happens. Screw expectations, Screw the grades, and more importantly, Screw Camilla Cabello’s solo career.

Remember to tweet me @KnightsCharlie or get involved on the hashtag #AskAtYourOwnRisk