A message for worried A-level students

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nousernameplease
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
First off, congrats on finishing your exams! They were probably the most stressful or only in-person exams you've sat so you should feel so proud of yourselves for getting through that awful exam period. I hope you have an exciting and relaxing summer planned. I apologise this is a long one but if you don't want to read it probably doesn't apply to you
I just wanted to provide some reassurance for anyone who is worried they won't get the grades they need for their top choice uni or for anyone who is already dreading results day. It will all be ok, and I'll tell you why.
I am a failed medicine student. I had a conditional offer for a place on a medicine course but due to many irrelevant reasons I hadn't prepared as well for my A-levels as I had for my GCSEs, and I was bricking it for results day. I had put so much pressure on myself to get into medical school and thought the shame of not getting in would be unbearable. Results day came, and I didn't meet my grades. This was my first academic failure and I felt awful. I went home without talking to my teachers who were ready to help me with clearing because I just wanted to cry alone. After a lot of tears my parents helped me think through my options and I got on the phone with the uni to see if I could negotiate. I still had my insurance for biomedical science at a different uni but I thought it was worth a shot. My first choice refused to take me for medicine, but offered me biomedical science, so I accepted and started my degree there that September. As the day went on, I started to accept the reality that I would not be studying medicine that year. By September, I was grateful for the extra thinking time, as I was starting to realise that maybe being a doctor wasn't for me - I hadn't had a lot of super relevant work experience, and so started seeing biomedical science as an opportunity to gain work experience in a hospital and open some other doors.
Fast forward three years, I couldn't be happier. I really enjoyed my course, the friends I made, experience I've gained and my career prospects. I've done internships and part-time work and have an interview lined up for a career role I'm really passionate about. I keep trying to picture myself as a third entering fourth year med student and I just can't. I also just can't picture myself as a doctor either.
This isn't all to say if you fail at a hurdle give up and try something else - absolutely not. Rather, treat what you currently perceive as a hurdle (A-level results) as an opportunity to re-evaluate and have more time to gain more experience. It doesn't take away from the anxiety you feel now, or maybe the disappointment you feel on the day, but I hope it'll help tame those feelings in the uncertainty until results.
Best of luck to everyone waiting for their results and whatever you go on to do beyond
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plain__jane
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#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
Thank you so much for the assurance and the story you shared. You don't know how much I needed to see this. God bless you.
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nousernameplease
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#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
:rave:I'm so glad, and I hope you have a brilliant summer!
(Original post by plain__jane)
Thank you so much for the assurance and the story you shared. You don't know how much I needed to see this. God bless you.
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Behemouth
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#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by nousernameplease)
First off, congrats on finishing your exams! They were probably the most stressful or only in-person exams you've sat so you should feel so proud of yourselves for getting through that awful exam period. I hope you have an exciting and relaxing summer planned. I apologise this is a long one but if you don't want to read it probably doesn't apply to you
I just wanted to provide some reassurance for anyone who is worried they won't get the grades they need for their top choice uni or for anyone who is already dreading results day. It will all be ok, and I'll tell you why.
I am a failed medicine student. I had a conditional offer for a place on a medicine course but due to many irrelevant reasons I hadn't prepared as well for my A-levels as I had for my GCSEs, and I was bricking it for results day. I had put so much pressure on myself to get into medical school and thought the shame of not getting in would be unbearable. Results day came, and I didn't meet my grades. This was my first academic failure and I felt awful. I went home without talking to my teachers who were ready to help me with clearing because I just wanted to cry alone. After a lot of tears my parents helped me think through my options and I got on the phone with the uni to see if I could negotiate. I still had my insurance for biomedical science at a different uni but I thought it was worth a shot. My first choice refused to take me for medicine, but offered me biomedical science, so I accepted and started my degree there that September. As the day went on, I started to accept the reality that I would not be studying medicine that year. By September, I was grateful for the extra thinking time, as I was starting to realise that maybe being a doctor wasn't for me - I hadn't had a lot of super relevant work experience, and so started seeing biomedical science as an opportunity to gain work experience in a hospital and open some other doors.
Fast forward three years, I couldn't be happier. I really enjoyed my course, the friends I made, experience I've gained and my career prospects. I've done internships and part-time work and have an interview lined up for a career role I'm really passionate about. I keep trying to picture myself as a third entering fourth year med student and I just can't. I also just can't picture myself as a doctor either.
This isn't all to say if you fail at a hurdle give up and try something else - absolutely not. Rather, treat what you currently perceive as a hurdle (A-level results) as an opportunity to re-evaluate and have more time to gain more experience. It doesn't take away from the anxiety you feel now, or maybe the disappointment you feel on the day, but I hope it'll help tame those feelings in the uncertainty until results.
Best of luck to everyone waiting for their results and whatever you go on to do beyond
Thanks
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Salome.7256
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Behemouth)
Thanks
(Original post by nousernameplease)
First off, congrats on finishing your exams! They were probably the most stressful or only in-person exams you've sat so you should feel so proud of yourselves for getting through that awful exam period. I hope you have an exciting and relaxing summer planned. I apologise this is a long one but if you don't want to read it probably doesn't apply to you
I just wanted to provide some reassurance for anyone who is worried they won't get the grades they need for their top choice uni or for anyone who is already dreading results day. It will all be ok, and I'll tell you why.
I am a failed medicine student. I had a conditional offer for a place on a medicine course but due to many irrelevant reasons I hadn't prepared as well for my A-levels as I had for my GCSEs, and I was bricking it for results day. I had put so much pressure on myself to get into medical school and thought the shame of not getting in would be unbearable. Results day came, and I didn't meet my grades. This was my first academic failure and I felt awful. I went home without talking to my teachers who were ready to help me with clearing because I just wanted to cry alone. After a lot of tears my parents helped me think through my options and I got on the phone with the uni to see if I could negotiate. I still had my insurance for biomedical science at a different uni but I thought it was worth a shot. My first choice refused to take me for medicine, but offered me biomedical science, so I accepted and started my degree there that September. As the day went on, I started to accept the reality that I would not be studying medicine that year. By September, I was grateful for the extra thinking time, as I was starting to realise that maybe being a doctor wasn't for me - I hadn't had a lot of super relevant work experience, and so started seeing biomedical science as an opportunity to gain work experience in a hospital and open some other doors.
Fast forward three years, I couldn't be happier. I really enjoyed my course, the friends I made, experience I've gained and my career prospects. I've done internships and part-time work and have an interview lined up for a career role I'm really passionate about. I keep trying to picture myself as a third entering fourth year med student and I just can't. I also just can't picture myself as a doctor either.
This isn't all to say if you fail at a hurdle give up and try something else - absolutely not. Rather, treat what you currently perceive as a hurdle (A-level results) as an opportunity to re-evaluate and have more time to gain more experience. It doesn't take away from the anxiety you feel now, or maybe the disappointment you feel on the day, but I hope it'll help tame those feelings in the uncertainty until results.
Best of luck to everyone waiting for their results and whatever you go on to do beyond
You have no idea how much I needed to read this!!
Through Sixth form I had been severely struggling with depression and anxiety both diagnosed clinically, I was also stuck in a very controlling south Asian household whilst dating someone in secret and by the time A-levels actually came around I was so so unprepared doing all nighters realising that if i didn't get good enough grades (AAA) then I wouldn't be able to even move out or seek medical attention or see the guy I'm in a two year relationship with for another 3-5 years. In a few of my exams I ended up freezing up because of Exam anxiety and I remember thinking to myself I'm not even gonna get a B. I thought it would get better after Alevels finished but my depression has only got worse. Just sitting at home all day thinking to myself what is gonna happen in the future, if I dare not get AAA my family full of doctors and academics are gonna spit on me and I will be so so so embarrassed. I have just been isolated at home with no way out with the impending doom that I won't be able to leave home and I will be stuck with bad A-level grades for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the inspiring story and if anyone has any advice for me I will happily listen
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nousernameplease
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Abigail.alex)
You have no idea how much I needed to read this!!
Through Sixth form I had been severely struggling with depression and anxiety both diagnosed clinically, I was also stuck in a very controlling south Asian household whilst dating someone in secret and by the time A-levels actually came around I was so so unprepared doing all nighters realising that if i didn't get good enough grades (AAA) then I wouldn't be able to even move out or seek medical attention or see the guy I'm in a two year relationship with for another 3-5 years. In a few of my exams I ended up freezing up because of Exam anxiety and I remember thinking to myself I'm not even gonna get a B. I thought it would get better after Alevels finished but my depression has only got worse. Just sitting at home all day thinking to myself what is gonna happen in the future, if I dare not get AAA my family full of doctors and academics are gonna spit on me and I will be so so so embarrassed. I have just been isolated at home with no way out with the impending doom that I won't be able to leave home and I will be stuck with bad A-level grades for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the inspiring story and if anyone has any advice for me I will happily listen
Sorry it's me again, but hopefully others will appear to give better advice soon. I remember towards the end of my a-levels saying at least 3 times a day "I doubt I need a levels to work at the garden centre and to be honest that sounds like a rather nice life" and while it was kind of a joke with my friends about how awful we felt about the then approaching exams, it also helped to remind me that grades aren't everything. Academics isn't everything. That is particularly hard to believe when you're in sixth form because up until then you've spent you're entire life in education and all anyone seems interested in is your grades and plans for uni, but once you are out of sixth form and integrate into a more diverse population (in terms of just the people you talk with every day) you realise that no one really gives a toss about how you did in exams. They care about your morals and beliefs and family and maybe what you do for work. And there is a whole world of jobs out there! You don't need a degree to live a good life. But I understand that is a really difficult thing to tell yourself and believe when not only you but your family have believed that grades and medic school are the priority aims.
I wish I could give you a big hug and give you some good advice about your family situation but I fortunately grew up with a family who remained fairly uninvolved with my schooling and aspirations, so I can't help you there.
I'm sure there are others on here who can help you with some ideas and help you come up with plans a-z. But please just remember that you are a bright wonderful addition to this planet and your grades or occupation do not and never will dictate your worth.
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Behemouth
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#7
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#7
(Original post by nousernameplease)
Sorry it's me again, but hopefully others will appear to give better advice soon. I remember towards the end of my a-levels saying at least 3 times a day "I doubt I need a levels to work at the garden centre and to be honest that sounds like a rather nice life" and while it was kind of a joke with my friends about how awful we felt about the then approaching exams, it also helped to remind me that grades aren't everything. Academics isn't everything. That is particularly hard to believe when you're in sixth form because up until then you've spent you're entire life in education and all anyone seems interested in is your grades and plans for uni, but once you are out of sixth form and integrate into a more diverse population (in terms of just the people you talk with every day) you realise that no one really gives a toss about how you did in exams. They care about your morals and beliefs and family and maybe what you do for work. And there is a whole world of jobs out there! You don't need a degree to live a good life. But I understand that is a really difficult thing to tell yourself and believe when not only you but your family have believed that grades and medic school are the priority aims.
I wish I could give you a big hug and give you some good advice about your family situation but I fortunately grew up with a family who remained fairly uninvolved with my schooling and aspirations, so I can't help you there.
I'm sure there are others on here who can help you with some ideas and help you come up with plans a-z. But please just remember that you are a bright wonderful addition to this planet and your grades or occupation do not and never will dictate your worth.
Thank you so much for making us feel a bit better, thanks man
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CWXY
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#8
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#8
Hi i got an offer for medicine at kings which I’m very grateful for. I need the grades A*AA but I’m very worried. It’s not the idea of being a failure that gives me anxiety, but rather the fact that i could’ve worked extra for UCAT, work experience and personal statement. The anxiety just ties me back from doing things. Any advice would be great.
Thank you guys for the anecdotes, it has made me feel so much better with all the perspectives given.
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Behemouth
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#9
Report 4 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by nousernameplease)
First off, congrats on finishing your exams! They were probably the most stressful or only in-person exams you've sat so you should feel so proud of yourselves for getting through that awful exam period. I hope you have an exciting and relaxing summer planned. I apologise this is a long one but if you don't want to read it probably doesn't apply to you
I just wanted to provide some reassurance for anyone who is worried they won't get the grades they need for their top choice uni or for anyone who is already dreading results day. It will all be ok, and I'll tell you why.
I am a failed medicine student. I had a conditional offer for a place on a medicine course but due to many irrelevant reasons I hadn't prepared as well for my A-levels as I had for my GCSEs, and I was bricking it for results day. I had put so much pressure on myself to get into medical school and thought the shame of not getting in would be unbearable. Results day came, and I didn't meet my grades. This was my first academic failure and I felt awful. I went home without talking to my teachers who were ready to help me with clearing because I just wanted to cry alone. After a lot of tears my parents helped me think through my options and I got on the phone with the uni to see if I could negotiate. I still had my insurance for biomedical science at a different uni but I thought it was worth a shot. My first choice refused to take me for medicine, but offered me biomedical science, so I accepted and started my degree there that September. As the day went on, I started to accept the reality that I would not be studying medicine that year. By September, I was grateful for the extra thinking time, as I was starting to realise that maybe being a doctor wasn't for me - I hadn't had a lot of super relevant work experience, and so started seeing biomedical science as an opportunity to gain work experience in a hospital and open some other doors.
Fast forward three years, I couldn't be happier. I really enjoyed my course, the friends I made, experience I've gained and my career prospects. I've done internships and part-time work and have an interview lined up for a career role I'm really passionate about. I keep trying to picture myself as a third entering fourth year med student and I just can't. I also just can't picture myself as a doctor either.
This isn't all to say if you fail at a hurdle give up and try something else - absolutely not. Rather, treat what you currently perceive as a hurdle (A-level results) as an opportunity to re-evaluate and have more time to gain more experience. It doesn't take away from the anxiety you feel now, or maybe the disappointment you feel on the day, but I hope it'll help tame those feelings in the uncertainty until results.
Best of luck to everyone waiting for their results and whatever you go on to do beyond
Thanks for this, you inspired us all.
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