Jennifer wished you good luck, now I’m here to see how the dust has settled. The clear place to start is with congratulations to all those of you who are now going to university in the autumn. You’ve reached the top of the ladder and discovered the bottom of a newer, better ladder with platinum-coated rungs. To those of you whose results weren’t what you wanted, and you’ve either decided or been forced to forgo university this year, the game is far from lost. You now have a chance to think about your grades, your subject, your university choices, your desired career, the stock market, etc. — an extra year to prepare yourself is rarely a bad thing, however disappointed you may be. And be glad you didn’t make yourself look like an absolute and total [GCE Advanced Subsidiary Level] by jumping up in the air with your grades on the front page of the Daily Mail.
People who have fought their way onto an English course at Leicester may be looking for some advice now. If you want to look smart in your seminars, use this window to read about the history of English as much as you can. You don’t have to become an expert in each area, but if you can place the Romantics, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Beowulf, and Alexander Pope in chronological order you’ll be building a good scaffold from which to fill in the bricks of…knowledge. Heck, you can look at the module summaries here and see what you should be knowing about. If you start off with a good knowledge, you’ll have more time to put in the extra work that makes a First happen. On the side, think about what kind of societies you’d like to join, whether you’d like to write for The Ripple and Tingo, or record for LUST and LUSH, and if you’d enjoy a Languages at Leicester course. Too much to think about? Have a cold shower and then try.
People who are coming round for another shot at university can now do all the things above, except you have a year to do all this. There’s no excuse to not bust into university in 2013 like it’s 1974 and embarrass all the non-gap-year-taking small fry with your year of accumulated knowledge and impressive collar.