Libby Jones, Canford alumna, on how to keep a sense of perspective on Results Day if it doesn’t go quite as planned.
Four years ago today, I was devastated by the news that I had missed one of my A Level grades and had therefore been rejected by Exeter University. I remember frantically calling the admissions office and unsuccessfully pleading with the lady on the other end of the phone to accept me. I had had my heart set on studying at Exeter for years and I really struggled to process that this was not going to become a reality for me.
After several days of feeling really upset and thinking everything through with the support of my parents and teachers, I decided instead to defer my entry to Cardiff University, which was my insurance choice, and to take a gap year – something that I had previously been too nervous to commit to doing. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made, as I had an incredible year gaining work experience and spending time volunteering overseas that I would never have experienced if results day had gone to plan.
This was followed by three fantastic years in Cardiff studying Human Geography, which were full of new and exciting opportunities and experiences. I also quickly realised that the course was far more suited to me than the one at Exeter would have been and I really enjoyed my studies, as well as the time I spent playing hockey and volunteering with South Wales police.
Having just graduated and really thrilled to have gained a First, I can confidently say that my A Level grades have neither defined me nor stopped me from achieving my goals. I hope that by sharing my experience I can help to reassure anyone who may be feeling disheartened or having to rethink their plans: I can guarantee that you can make your plan B just as good, if not better than what you hoped for in the first place.