How One Student Rebuilt His Self Esteem After Shock A Level Results
For thousands of teenagers across the country, yesterday was the most important day of their lives, or at least, it seems like it was. A-Level results day.
What grades will I get? Will my parents be disappointed? My teachers? What if I don't get what I need? Where will I go?
These are all the kinds of thoughts and worries that many of us have felt as we nervously open up the envelope to see what we got. But whether you got the grades you wanted or not, it's not the end of the world.
Isaac was in the same boat a few years ago. Unsure about what he wanted to do with his life, he didn't have his heart set on university but said he was 'devastated' when he opened his results in 2014 to find he hadn't done as well as he'd hoped.
"There was always some pressure from parents and teachers to do well because of how well I'd done at GCSE and how I was like in class," he says.
"Results day was nerve-wracking - everyone there wanting to see what everyone else got and then that would decide what their future would be. And with mine still very much uncertain and I had no goals, ideas, etc it was actually quite depressing."
He added: "The grades I got were CDE, and I felt absolutely devastated as I thought I would have done better than I did. In hindsight I got the grades I deserved, my work ethic was poor, I didn't have any idea what I wanted to do, and I let that get to me and I essentially gave up."
Isaac says he had experienced difficulties with his mental health for a few years, and following his results, he struggled to cope.
Looking back, the 23-year-old says: "I drifted a lot with no real purpose and ended up first going on to the dole and then gaining some work experience with a company where I ended up getting offered a job. I was there for almost the next four years.
"This in itself had both good and bad times. But looking back on it I have a lot of positive memories of the place and have many amazing friends (who are more like family) and instead I choose to focus on that instead."
Through this period, Isaac says he still struggled to cope with his mental health, but with a combination of therapy and support from his family, he was able to turn things around.
Discovering his passion for politics, he decided that it was time to apply for university. Last year, he gained a place through clearing at the University of Hull, studying Politics with International Relations.
He is also a member of the Film Society, which he says has helped him 'conquer his social anxiety'.
He says: "I'm really happy with my situation, and as I was discussing with a tutor just before I left for summer, I actually have goals and a purpose and somewhat of a plan.
"In the end, I'm glad I didn't try and get into university back in 2014 and instead spent the next four years slowly building myself (confidence, self-esteem, work ethic, mental health, etc.)."
He now plans on getting a degree and following a career in the diplomatic service - a million miles away from where he found himself on results day.
He added: "If you don't get the grades you want - it's not the end of the world. Universities want people so there is always a way in - but take a day, have a think and chat with friends/family, breathe and then decide what to do.
"If you then do decide to go down the clearing route - ring the universities and speak to them, it may seem daunting and terrifying but it's 100 percent worth it."
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Featured Image Credit: PA