Labrador99
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With tomorrow being SQA Results Day 2020, we know that there will be lots of students here in Scotland nervously waiting on results!

This year's obviously a bit different, but no matter what grades you get this results day, there will still be ways to get where you want in life, even if it looks impossible just now! This year, TSR is getting involved in the #NoWrongPath campaign!

If you've already left school, it would be great if you could share your story! Just post below and tell us what you did after you left school, and how your path took you to what you are doing now!

If you receive SQA results tomorrow and they're not what you hoped for, hopefully the #NoWrongPath posts below (and on social media!) will help reassure you that there are lots of options available and that your results don't define you. There's also plenty of TSRians offering help and advice in our main Discussion and Help Thread.

All the best for tomorrow everyone! Image
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04MR17
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Posting to subscribe :jive:
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username5362962
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I better share my story - which I hopes inspires other people on here.

I went a struggling school, which had lots of problems with drugs and antisocial behaviour, still has one of the worst Higher exam record in the country.

I left school with very little, a few Intermediate 1's and 2's (the predecessor to N5) and only 1 Higher - which was only a D in English which I wouldn't really count. All else including Biology I failed.

I went to college for a few years and worked my way up from NC to HNC level - it was tough but I eventually got offered a place at university through clearing to study Tourism. However I was very lucky to be offered a place considering I was nowhere near the BBBC requirements at Higher.

After 4 years at uni I passed with a First-Class degree in Tourism, and now I teach at the same college I studied at years ago. i also recently got my Phd!

It was a long journey but if I can do it - you certainly can too.
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Labrador99
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(Original post by DrEwan)
I better share my story - which I hopes inspires other people on here.

I went a struggling school, which had lots of problems with drugs and antisocial behaviour, still has one of the worst Higher exam record in the country.

I left school with very little, a few Intermediate 1's and 2's (the predecessor to N5) and only 1 Higher - which was only a D in English which I wouldn't really count. All else including Biology I failed.

I went to college for a few years and worked my way up from NC to HNC level - it was tough but I eventually got offered a place at university through clearing to study Tourism. However I was very lucky to be offered a place considering I was nowhere near the BBBC requirements at Higher.

After 4 years at uni I passed with a First-Class degree in Tourism, and now I teach at the same college I studied at years ago. i also recently got my Phd!

It was a long journey but if I can do it - you certainly can too.
Thank you so much for sharing!! Really goes to show that what you get in SQA exams doesn't define what you'll go on to achieve!
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BlinkyBill
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Sending big love to everyone in Scotland getting your results today!

I went to school in Australia and went to uni there too. Last minute, I decided to switch from my original plan of doing a teaching degree, to doing a combination Business and Fine Art (film) dual degree. I was only 17 for my whole first year of uni and it was crap, to be honest. Not just because of being 17, but the course wasn't right for me, and I had a pretty tough year. I decided to defer for a year and just do some work in hospitality while I worked out what I wanted. After a few months I knew I need to go and do the teaching degree I'd originally planned because that's where my heart really was. I was bummed because I thought I'd wasted 18 months of my life, but I loved my teaching degree (dual Secondary Education and Arts) so much more, and I was so much happier at my new uni. I'm actually really grateful for that 18 months now, because it helped me learn what I *really* wanted (as opposed to what I fell into by accident).

I got a teaching job while I was still completing my degree. Once I graduated, I moved away and started teaching at the beginning of that academic year. It was really hard, but I loved working with kids. I became a Head of Year pretty quick and loved that too. Eventually, I realised there were a lot of things I disagreed about with the education system, and while I loved teaching, I needed a break. A one-month holiday in the UK turned into a year's career break where I did some supply teaching while travelling.

Long story short, now I work at TSR - a world away from that semi-started business degree, and my teaching days back in Aus. BUT every single step I took along the way, including the ones that felt 'wayward' at the time, have led me to a job I love. It's also a job that I'd never even heard of when I left school, so couldn't possibly have predicted where I'd end up.

While I know today is important, please remember it is one part of the story of your life - there are so many variables and adventures awaiting you that you can't even see yet. So no matter what happens today, try to have faith that good things are coming.
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Labrador99
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Sending big love to everyone in Scotland getting your results today!

I went to school in Australia and went to uni there too. Last minute, I decided to switch from my original plan of doing a teaching degree, to doing a combination Business and Fine Art (film) dual degree. I was only 17 for my whole first year of uni and it was crap, to be honest. Not just because of being 17, but the course wasn't right for me, and I had a pretty tough year. I decided to defer for a year and just do some work in hospitality while I worked out what I wanted. After a few months I knew I need to go and do the teaching degree I'd originally planned because that's where my heart really was. I was bummed because I thought I'd wasted 18 months of my life, but I loved my teaching degree (dual Secondary Education and Arts) so much more, and I was so much happier at my new uni. I'm actually really grateful for that 18 months now, because it helped me learn what I *really* wanted (as opposed to what I fell into by accident).

I got a teaching job while I was still completing my degree. Once I graduated, I moved away and started teaching at the beginning of that academic year. It was really hard, but I loved working with kids. I became a Head of Year pretty quick and loved that too. Eventually, I realised there were a lot of things I disagreed about with the education system, and while I loved teaching, I needed a break. A one-month holiday in the UK turned into a year's career break where I did some supply teaching while travelling.

Long story short, now I work at TSR - a world away from that semi-started business degree, and my teaching days back in Aus. BUT every single step I took along the way, including the ones that felt 'wayward' at the time, have led me to a job I love. It's also a job that I'd never even heard of when I left school, so couldn't possibly have predicted where I'd end up.

While I know today is important, please remember it is one part of the story of your life - there are so many variables and adventures awaiting you that you can't even see yet. So no matter what happens today, try to have faith that good things are coming.
Thanks so much for sharing BlinkyBill :hugs:
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Charlotte's Web
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I didn't do amazingly well in my A levels - my results weren't bad but they were across a big range (ACD) which made it hard to meet entry criteria for lots of universities (most required BBC, for example, which I didn't meet). I was definitely disappointed, I did well in my GCSEs getting As across the board and I really felt I'd let myself and my parents down, despite getting into university. I had always done so well academically and I really felt my A level results didn't reflect that.

I was really well prepared for uni - I'd done lots of work experience and research and I felt I was ahead of the game. The nursing degree was incredibly hard and I stuck through it despite it having a really negative effect on my mental health. Throughout the degree I developed an interest in palliative care and was 100% sure I wanted to work in a hospice. I did lots of extra work experience and made myself a really attractive candidate. I managed to get a job in a hospice immediately on qualifying, which is not an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, as time went on in that role I found some things I fundamentally disagreed with in terms of how patients were treated and the hospice was run. I was at a stage mentally where I was not doing well at all, and would have been happy to take any job at all - even stacking shelves to get out of there. I felt so guilty for leaving that job - where I was really needed, but I was at breaking point.

I ended up taking a job as a Research Nurse that I happened upon by chance - I didn't really know what it involved at the time, but it was a 9-5 clinic-based job and I thought the lack of shifts would be better for me. I did really enjoy it to my surprise, although my manager warned I would get bored quickly. I did become bored but stayed in that role because I was fairly happy and had a good work-life balance. There wasn't really any scope for promotion or progression but my salary was decent and the job was easy enough. Unfortunately after 2.5 years, I was very suddenly made redundant and felt I was back to square one. I'd just bought a flat so was really worried financially and had no idea where to turn, as I knew I had fallen out of love with nursing.

I was extremely lucky to be contacted on LinkedIn by a recruiter for a well-renowned company to offer me an interview as a Clinical Research Associate - someone who monitors clinical trials. I was experienced in the field but didn't think I was qualified. My previous manager had actually suggested that this role would suit me so I was very keen to give it a try. Fortunately I got the job and 9 months on I absolutely love it. I finally feel like I have found my 'place', almost four years after graduating. I did (and still do) feel a lot of guilt about leaving nursing, where I know the workforce is struggling, but I realised I needed to prioritise my own wellbeing. I'm still in a position where I can make a difference, just not in the way I originally expected! I'm now finishing my masters degree in Health Research and hopefully have a long career ahead of me in clinical trials.

Ultimately what I learned was that you can do all of the right things, you can do as much research as is possible and be super prepared, and can still find that your degree or job isn't right for you. Sometimes things don't work out and that isn't your fault - very few people actually get it right the first time round. Be open to opportunities, even if they aren't what you initially planned, and be ready to say 'yes' when they come your way.
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carlyhorne
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I left school in 2018 at the age of 18, with a place at the University of Glasgow.

I had kinda average qualifications: (AAAABBBB at National 5, AAAAABB at Higher and a C at AH) and zero passion about the course I had firmed. I wanted to apply to English Literature at Cambridge, so when I didn't get the grades, I was gutted. But I was good at Physics and got a place on the course at Glasgow.

Unfortunately, this was a horrible time in my life and I just didn't click with the university or the course. I'd always wanted to do medicine (just never felt good enough) and decided to leave after 1st year. I took a gap year, took my UCAT, got work experience and spoiler alert: I didn't get into medicine. I knew I needed a couple more years to be competitive enough to apply for such a course and so I'm starting at Newcastle in October to study Medical Science. I'm hoping to do Medicine at Oxford, KCL or QMUL in the next few years, but more so, I'm hoping to finally start enjoying my life.

Today feels like the be all or end all, but I promise you; it's not.

Congratulations if you got the grades you needed, but also, congratulations if you didn't. You've been undertaking qualifications and putting in the hours, even during a pandemic. Some of you have been absolute troopers during this time, so no matter what, we're all very proud of each and every one of you.

Best of luck everyone!! ❤️
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Labrador99
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
I didn't do amazingly well in my A levels - my results weren't bad but they were across a big range (ACD) which made it hard to meet entry criteria for lots of universities (most required BBC, for example, which I didn't meet). I was definitely disappointed, I did well in my GCSEs getting As across the board and I really felt I'd let myself and my parents down, despite getting into university. I had always done so well academically and I really felt my A level results didn't reflect that.

I was really well prepared for uni - I'd done lots of work experience and research and I felt I was ahead of the game. The nursing degree was incredibly hard and I stuck through it despite it having a really negative effect on my mental health. Throughout the degree I developed an interest in palliative care and was 100% sure I wanted to work in a hospice. I did lots of extra work experience and made myself a really attractive candidate. I managed to get a job in a hospice immediately on qualifying, which is not an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, as time went on in that role I found some things I fundamentally disagreed with in terms of how patients were treated and the hospice was run. I was at a stage mentally where I was not doing well at all, and would have been happy to take any job at all - even stacking shelves to get out of there. I felt so guilty for leaving that job - where I was really needed, but I was at breaking point.

I ended up taking a job as a Research Nurse that I happened upon by chance - I didn't really know what it involved at the time, but it was a 9-5 clinic-based job and I thought the lack of shifts would be better for me. I did really enjoy it to my surprise, although my manager warned I would get bored quickly. I did become bored but stayed in that role because I was fairly happy and had a good work-life balance. There wasn't really any scope for promotion or progression but my salary was decent and the job was easy enough. Unfortunately after 2.5 years, I was very suddenly made redundant and felt I was back to square one. I'd just bought a flat so was really worried financially and had no idea where to turn, as I knew I had fallen out of love with nursing.

I was extremely lucky to be contacted on LinkedIn by a recruiter for a well-renowned company to offer me an interview as a Clinical Research Associate - someone who monitors clinical trials. I was experienced in the field but didn't think I was qualified. My previous manager had actually suggested that this role would suit me so I was very keen to give it a try. Fortunately I got the job and 9 months on I absolutely love it. I finally feel like I have found my 'place', almost four years after graduating. I did (and still do) feel a lot of guilt about leaving nursing, where I know the workforce is struggling, but I realised I needed to prioritise my own wellbeing. I'm still in a position where I can make a difference, just not in the way I originally expected! I'm now finishing my masters degree in Health Research and hopefully have a long career ahead of me in clinical trials.

Ultimately what I learned was that you can do all of the right things, you can do as much research as is possible and be super prepared, and can still find that your degree or job isn't right for you. Sometimes things don't work out and that isn't your fault - very few people actually get it right the first time round. Be open to opportunities, even if they aren't what you initially planned, and be ready to say 'yes' when they come your way.
Thank you for sharing Charlotte's Web Definitely agree with that last bit about not knowing till you try, and am glad you're happy with what you're doing now :hugs:
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claireestelle
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My a levels went very badly so I got BEE, I originally wanted to do adult nursing but my grades were too low, however my firm offered me a health and social care course through clearing which I accepted. I met my husband because I did that course as I wouldn't have had the time to join the societies I did if I had ended up doing nursing.

I then go onto nursing after the health and social care course and turns out that was not the right career for me after all, I had a couple of jobs after that and am now doing an open university degree whilst working full time in a customer service job I enjoy. However, I am at 25, a homeowner and going to be a parent in October which is everything I wanted at this age anyway so my bad grades didn't stop me getting there.
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Labrador99
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(Original post by carlyhorne)
I left school in 2018 at the age of 18, with a place at the University of Glasgow.

I had kinda average qualifications: (AAAABBBB at National 5, AAAAABB at Higher and a C at AH) and zero passion about the course I had firmed. I wanted to apply to English Literature at Cambridge, so when I didn't get the grades, I was gutted. But I was good at Physics and got a place on the course at Glasgow.

Unfortunately, this was a horrible time in my life and I just didn't click with the university or the course. I'd always wanted to do medicine (just never felt good enough) and decided to leave after 1st year. I took a gap year, took my UCAT, got work experience and spoiler alert: I didn't get into medicine. I knew I needed a couple more years to be competitive enough to apply for such a course and so I'm starting at Newcastle in October to study Medical Science. I'm hoping to do Medicine at Oxford, KCL or QMUL in the next few years, but more so, I'm hoping to finally start enjoying my life.

Today feels like the be all or end all, but I promise you; it's not.

Congratulations if you got the grades you needed, but also, congratulations if you didn't. You've been undertaking qualifications and putting in the hours, even during a pandemic. Some of you have been absolute troopers during this time, so no matter what, we're all very proud of each and every one of you.

Best of luck everyone!! ❤️
Thanks so much for sharing - think medicine is one that we sometimes hear that the linear path is the only option, so is really important to know there are other ways too! Good luck for uni in October!
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Labrador99
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(Original post by claireestelle)
My a levels went very badly so I got BEE, I originally wanted to do adult nursing but my grades were too low, however my firm offered me a health and social care course through clearing which I accepted. I met my husband because I did that course as I wouldn't have had the time to join the societies I did if I had ended up doing nursing.

I then go onto nursing after the health and social care course and turns out that was not the right career for me after all, I had a couple of jobs after that and am now doing an open university degree whilst working full time in a customer service job I enjoy. However, I am at 25, a homeowner and going to be a parent in October which is everything I wanted at this age anyway so my bad grades didn't stop me getting there.
Thank you for sharing claireestelle - hope you're doing well
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04MR17
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I'm not in the working and looking back at your decisions point in my life yet, but I do have some things to say about pressure.

Of the 5 unis I applied to, one of them was Cambridge. Cambridge was a big deal for me and for the people who knew me - nobody in my school had applied for about 10 years, and nobody had got an offer for nearly 30. I certainly felt like a bit of an imposter at interview. When I mentioned I was from Liverpool, someone's first response was "oh, they have the highest concentration of McDonald's in the uk". Lovely welcome.

I was delighted to be offered a place and so was my school. I was invited to stand at the front of a whole staff meeting and be clapped at. I felt a bit guilty about that when inside I was thinking about turning Cambridge down.

In the end I did. They wanted A*AA, most of my other choices wanted AAB and I really wasn't that confident about the straight A*AA I was predicted. More than that, though, the course at Cambridge wasn't something I was in love with - it was a single honours course because they'd just discontinued the joint honours course I'd applied for everywhere else. Lots of people were not supportive of this decision (though many people also were, obviously). I had quite a few teachers saying they would have made a different decision, that wasn't exactly helpful.

And good job I did, results day landed me with ABC at A Level and my insurance choice, miles behind the A*AA Cambridge wanted. I've had a great time at Keele and now I'm heading to a PGCE course at another uni.

What I learnt was that this is my choice, my life and my future. I'm not doing this for parents, family members, to compete with any siblings or because my teachers thought it was a good idea. I've made the decisions I've made because they are mine to make. If I'm looking for advice, I'll ask those I trust for support on something, not an "all opinions welcome" party.
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Labrador99
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I'm not in the working and looking back at your decisions point in my life yet, but I do have some things to say about pressure.

Of the 5 unis I applied to, one of them was Cambridge. Cambridge was a big deal for me and for the people who knew me - nobody in my school had applied for about 10 years, and nobody had got an offer for nearly 30. I certainly felt like a bit of an imposter at interview. When I mentioned I was from Liverpool, someone's first response was "oh, they have the highest concentration of McDonald's in the uk". Lovely welcome.

I was delighted to be offered a place and so was my school. I was invited to stand at the front of a whole staff meeting and be clapped at. I felt a bit guilty about that when inside I was thinking about turning Cambridge down.

In the end I did. They wanted A*AA, most of my other choices wanted AAB and I really wasn't that confident about the straight A*AA I was predicted. More than that, though, the course at Cambridge wasn't something I was in love with - it was a single honours course because they'd just discontinued the joint honours course I'd applied for everywhere else. Lots of people were not supportive of this decision (though many people also were, obviously). I had quite a few teachers saying they would have made a different decision, that wasn't exactly helpful.

And good job I did, results day landed me with ABC at A Level and my insurance choice, miles behind the A*AA Cambridge wanted. I've had a great time at Keele and now I'm heading to a PGCE course at another uni.

What I learnt was that this is my choice, my life and my future. I'm not doing this for parents, family members, to compete with any siblings or because my teachers thought it was a good idea. I've made the decisions I've made because they are mine to make. If I'm looking for advice, I'll ask those I trust for support on something, not an "all opinions welcome" party.
PRSOM Thanks for sharing MR, and excellent advice as always :yep:
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