The day that the majority of A level students throughout the country have been anticipating has arrived. For many this will be the first time that they have been able to relax in months, and for others the time has come for them to pull their heads back out from under the sand.
It isn’t however just students that face the undeniable pressure and apprehension that this day brings- results day is equally as daunting of a day for teachers and parents! That fact is widely forgotten.
For most students, the moment of finding out their results is life changing in some way. That small bit of paper holds possible answers to their future, answers to their next step in life and potentially to the next path that they will take. Speaking from previous experience, this moment is overwhelmingly nerve-racking. How can this one moment, based on one set of exams, mean so much? That complete desire for something that you want so much. Something that relies solely on the information that one bit of paper holds.
It is not only the insane amount of pressure that students put on themselves that creates that feeling of utter disappointment if they do not get the results they were aiming for so difficult to accept, but also that overcoming concern of ‘what will my parents think?’
Those very apparent doubts and ‘what if’ thoughts that fill the heads of those students that open that envelope and haven’t got what they wanted, often despite trying their very hardest, are such a struggle to deal with. We all want to feel proud of ourselves but also make others proud of us!
From students that just miss out on that ‘A’ they needed to get in to the university of their choice to those that completely messed up an exam and haven’t got in to university at all- does everything really happen for a reason? How can getting in to university be so black and white? Students must be proud of what they did achieve and realise that this isn’t the end. I hope that today support and reassurance is being provided all over the country to help manage that indescribable disappointment which is so difficult to know how to deal with.
Hard work should be recognised whether they got that result they were looking for or not. These exams ARE important, but students shouldn’t be made to feel like this is the end. Opportunity is still there! Lets make students feel proud. Let’s provide them with the support that they need today. Never underestimate what can be achieved through sheer encouragement to keep going! They must remember that results alone cannot determine a future and there is so much further success that is yet to be achieved.
Those who haven’t got in to the university of their choice- the process of clearing is another stress to add to this pressure filled day. Along with disappointment, the rush of ‘where else can I go’ takes over. The opportunity of clearing creates many happy endings, but actually in a lot of cases can increase apprehension. It often means being accepted somewhere they haven’t had the chance to visit or somewhere that is maybe so far from home but yet they haven’t began considering leaving their family. This means the step from college/sixth form to university is even more dramatic than perhaps anticipated.
Even for those A level students that are filled instantly with sheer relief when finding out their results, it doesn’t end there! Today the pressure and apprehension is not only on those who failed to reach their target, but also those who succeeded to. It is time for these students to consider how to prepare for the unknown. Some will be ready and some will not be.
This day is truly life changing but i believe that positivity should be taken whatever the outcome. It is important to spot the signs of students who are struggling; those who need extra support on this very significant day. The ones most in need of your help aren’t always the most obvious. That struggle may vary from accepting that they missed out on a grade to dealing with the idea of moving away.
The point is, it isn’t just about what results they get, it is about providing encouragement, motivation and mind-set for that next step – whatever that may be!
For now, make the most of the summer and I wish you all a fantastic start to the new academic year!