Results Day 2022: Student Perspectives

Date: August 23, 2022
Categories: 11-15 | 16-18 | Featured | Guides

Results day can be a time of stress and worry for many, but remember that you’re not going through it alone. It can be helpful to hear from people just like you who have also gone through the process of getting their results and making decisions about their future.

In this article, you can read some pieces written by young people who have recently received their results. There’s a fantastic post written by a year 11 who is just about to get her results all about how she is feeling and coping with results day. There’s also some incredibly useful information written by people who have gone on to different destinations and started their careers. Plus, if you’re interested in thinking about a Degree Apprenticeship as an alternative to university, there’s a piece packed full of advice and tips, written by someone who has chosen that route and has now happily started their career!

Read on below to see all 4 pieces. If you need some more help with your results, check out our blog post with all the options that may be available to you. Don’t forget that you can speak to your careers leader at school if you need more advice.

Eva Murphy, Year 11

So, Results Day is looming…

It is fair to say that despite the abject misery of sitting almost thirty (yes you read that right) GCSE examinations this year- thus far I have done a valiant job at forgetting almost entirely that the day would finally arrive when I have to open the sacred envelope containing my results. With a trembling hand and a pounding heart, tear it open and succumb to my fate.

Am I nervous? Yes.

Nervous doesn’t even begin to cover the extent of my emotions as I count down the days. Actually, I’m not sure if it is nerves or just pure terror that is coursing through my veins. In an ideal scenario, I envision myself confidently opening the envelope, exuberant as my eyes trail down the list of grade nines. Fine, maybe that’s taking it a tad too far. I suppose I would be happy with a few eights and maybe even a seven!

This is the difficult part, I can’t anticipate what my reaction will be if I am disappointed in myself. Will I start to doubt myself and my abilities? Will my next steps change?

Thinking rationally, of course I do realise that it will not be ‘the end of the world’ and I will move on (eventually) but to be perfectly honest that does nothing to alleviate the suffocating pressure I feel! A thousand worries fluttering through my head like butterflies, no moths gradually eating away at me.

Having spoken to my peers, they are in agreement that the burden placed upon today’s students is almost unbearable. We all know we worked hard and endured the exam stress, taking solace in the fact that it is not for long and an elongated summer of fun awaited us- the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ as the saying goes. But looking back, was it worth pulling the brakes on our social life and labouring like a machine? Do good grades truly have to come at the expense of our mental health?

Of course, all of this rumination is completely futile as my results are now a ‘fait accompli’! Someone out there knows my destiny before I do!

My friends may call me a perfectionist and I suppose I can see where they are coming from- I must admit it to be one of my flaws! Usually, I would be compelled to plan for every eventuality- making colour coded lists that some people may call neurotic but in some strange way being powerless in this situation has allowed me to relax and enjoy the summer. Previously, I had been told by a friend that after exams, your brain empties- I recall scoffing at that possibility but now- a few months later, I can honestly say that I truly have ‘chilled out’ and feel as prepared as I can for what is in store, no longer believing that flawless GCSE results are paramount for success in later life. I guess that one of the biggest life lessons in the whole experience is developing patience and accepting that when the day comes- pass or fail, our best is all we can do.

Patrick Dumican, Y13

I’m a little nervous about getting my results, but feel fairly confident.  I studied dance, music and languages at college and am intending to go to Edge Hill university to study primary teaching.  I’m a little nervous about moving away from home, but college have prepared me well with many university talks during tutorials and I’m excited about starting a course that leads to my career choice. When I started college I did the ‘Future teachers’ pathway and this developed my ambition to become a primary teacher as it involved, a 10 day work experience in a primary school.

If I was to give any advice to Y11s about to start college, it would be to take part in extra curricular activities as this helps you to make more friends and you settle in faster.  I also took a combination of level three BTECs with A levels and this was really good as I had fewer exams to take, especially after not taking them for my GCSEs due to covid.  I would also recommend really using free periods to study and get your work completed as this then allows you time at the weekend for a part time job or hobbies.  I worked hard in my first year and this helped me for my second year, so be consistent.

Jenny Coyle, Final Year Undergraduate

I’m so pleased to have got a first in my degree because all the hard work I put in has paid off. When I started college (St John Rigby) I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do, so took science and sport subjects. I also went in the Future scientists programme as I enjoy science. On that programme, we had to do a project and one of the suggested choices from the tutor was type 2 diabetes which sparked the initial interest for my degree choice.

After living in University accommodation for my first year at Manchester Metropolitan University, I then studied remotely from home for my second year and a lot of my third, due to the pandemic. This had its pros and cons. Not being at University in person, prevented the student lifestyle, but I found that online learning worked for me.  If I didn’t understand recorded lectures, first time, I could pause or play them again. I think this helped me.

So for the future, I’m now aiming for a career in nutrition and making steps towards that over the coming months.

If I could give myself any advice three years ago when i was about to get my A level results or throughout my time at college, it would be, uni is a new start, even with 3 C’s I didn’t imagine I could achieve a first class honours degree. With hard work and determination, you can achieve anything.

My shout out to any people in particular who inspired and helped me would be St Peter’s High School for a good grounding and my tutors from St John Rigby College, Vicky and Lucy for sharing their love of science with me.

Good luck to all students getting results soon!

Mel Molyneux, Early Career

With A-Level results day on the horizon, I feel it’s hugely important to promote Degree Apprenticeships as a great alternative to University Studies, for those who prefer practical on-the-job learning rather than being classroom based.

After completing my A Levels at St John Rigby College in 2018, I progressed onto a 3 year Commercial Degree Apprenticeship with Airbus and now I have a first class degree in Business Management, a wealth of other qualifications and 3 fantastic year’s experience (and counting) working for one of the worlds largest aircraft manufacturers!

University on its own isn’t for everyone – make the decision that is right for you! There are plenty of options and support out there.

My top tips for A-Level results day and the period after:

  • DON’T PANIC! I received an email on the day of my A Level results, from a university I had applied to and I assumed I had failed my exams based on the message. It became clear when I opened my results that the email was sent in error and I’d done far better than I expected!
  • “FAILURE” DOESN’T EXIST! If your results are not as you expected, do not look on yourself or your output of college life as a “failure” instead reflect upon what you would do if you could do them again and look at your options, being disappointed with your results doesn’t mean you have no options!
  • CHOOSE WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU – Too often students are presented with one option post A-Levels and that is to progress directly on to university before considering full time employment. There are so many more options if you spend time to explore them! You could go on to a Degree or Higher Apprenticeship, like me and gain your qualification whilst learning valuable on-the-job skills. There are also internships that mean you can spend a year in industry during your degree. Don’t feel pressured into choosing the option many other people do, explore what’s out there and choose the best option for YOU!