Grave Grades Require True Grit

Hooray! The dreaded exam period is over! The uni students know if they’ve passed their year, the A-Level students finally have some peace of mind and the GCSE students are planning their next course of action.

If one were to describe me, I would come across as a rather successful young woman. Living away from home, a student at an esteemed university and an aspiring journalist. It would seem as if I had everything figured out and I’d fallen steadily on my own two feet. Right?

Digging a little deeper you see that my life hasn’t been handed to me on a silver platter. I’ve had to work damn hard. And learned some life-changing lessons along the way.

In the Summer of 2013, I was a reclusive 18 year old who didn’t have any motivation to do anything. I had an offer from the university of St.John’s in York, and I assumed that I’d coast my way right through my A-Level’s and through the doors of uni.

But, on the day of my results, I walked into school knowing, deep down that I had not gotten into university. And I didn’t care. I didn’t think what my next move was. I just accepted the three E’s on my result’s certificate and walked straight out of the institution I had spend seven years of my life, without a backward glance.

My self-worth was so obliterated by the politics of secondary school life, that I needed help from my family to support me through this serious time of my life.

It may sound cliché but with a lot of soul searching, I realised I wanted to try again.

I wanted to regain the self-worth I once had, and have confidence in my own abilities.

I had to prove that pursuing a route in education was worth-while. That I had the determination and grit to succeed. That I was worth my place at university.

So I tried, harder than I had ever tried before, to construct the future that I deserved.

And it payed off. For two years, whilst all my school friends were in jobs and at university, I retook both years of A-Levels. In August of 2015, I received my grades. They were even better than expected! I declined both offers from Swansea and Bath Spa and signed up for UCAS adjustment. With a couple of phone calls, I had secured my place at Cardiff University. This was the happiest day of my life! Not only because of the pride I felt at being a university student, but my tenacity and self-belief allowed me to succeed despite the set-backs. I became a new person.

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Searching through the Cardiff University Prospectus the morning of my results.

 

Ready to take on the world with my newly-found self-confidence, I descended on the school of Journalism, without letting my age (I am two years older than the average course-mate) hinder my ambition to succeed.

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Receiving my 2015 A-Level Results.

A year has passed since I became a student, and within that year I’ve travelled to Europe with my society, attended lectures by esteemed journalists and met the best people.

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Ellie, Benita and Me. Two of the best people I have ever met.

Whilst life’s huge expectations sometimes become unbearable, it is important to remember that your health and goals are what really matter when it comes to succeeding. Some may call it cockiness, or even self-righteousness; but it’s not that. It’s the skill of asserting your beliefs and constantly thriving to be the best you can be. Grades don’t define you. Whilst they aid your ability to achieve certain aspects of life, grades are not the be-all and end-all of your existence. Happiness, achieving your dreams and making a positive mark on the world and the people who matter is what’s important. Other than that, what else do we leave once we’re dust?

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