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Decide your destiny? A-level results and going to university

Project 365 #231: 190810 The Proof Of The PuddingOur blogger looks back at getting A-level results and looks ahead at what's in store for this year's freshers...

It's that time of year again, when thousands of A-level students are nervously awaiting their results. For many, the grades they get in their A-levels will be the key that unlock the door to university. Getting the right grades makes the difference between getting your first choice offer, or your insurance offer, or perhaps missing out completely and having to reapply through clearing or at a later date. No wonder the pressure is on – best of luck to everyone waiting on their results!

A time to celebrate achievement

As usual, the exam results will provoke a debate about whether standards are as high and if A-levels are getting easier. But regardless of debates about the education system, there’s no doubting the hard work and commitment of the vast majority of students. Yes, we need to discuss whether the current school system gives the best teaching and opportunities to students, but there’s a time and a place: results day should be about celebrating student achievement, not political point-scoring.

Results day stress

For me, Cardiff was always my first choice of university. But I had a stressful time of getting my results when my return from a family holiday was interrupted by a terrorist scare at Birmingham airport. I had to spend the night in an airport waiting room, and didn’t touch down in the UK until the time when I was supposed to be picking up my results from college. I rang the college to ask for my results over the phone, only to be told that they couldn’t give them to me over the phone without prior arrangement except in “exceptional circumstances”. Bomb plots were for some reason not included, leaving me in the lurch waiting for results!

Off to university

When the results are in and offers of uni places (hopefully) confirmed, students will then find out where they will be living for the next three or more years - which university, and more specifically, which halls of residence, as universities scramble to allocate students to halls in the few weeks before the start of term.

Into halls

Most students coming to university will choose halls of residence for their student accommodation in the first year. These days it’s easy for students to get in touch with future flatmates and coursemates via the wonders of Facebook. Halls are a great way to meet other students, make new friends, and be immersed in the student experience. But as fun as halls can be, for most, one year is enough! Facilities can often be a little basic, with shared bathroom facilities or tiny en-suite pods, and a distinct lack of sofas. Students are usually keen to find their own digs, and seek out somewhere to live for the following academic year over the winter.

A place of one's own

If things don’t quite go to plan on the exams front, then you might find yourself going through clearing, perhaps without a guarantee of a place in halls, leaving you to find a student flat or house to live in at short notice. Fortunately there is a good supply of student properties, and Capital Properties is very happy to help you find the right place to live throughout the year.

Don't panic!

So if you’re waiting for results, try to take a deep breath and relax. You won’t add any marks to your grade by worrying! Hopefully you’ll have the results you hope for and an exciting time ahead. If not, try not to be discouraged – you can always try again, or maybe find something different and better for you. Whatever results you get, your future is in your hands!

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