If you have just finished sixth form or college and are starting uni in September and just got your results back about a week ago, you most likely know where you’re going to uni and you are excited / worried about your first day of uni. I remember that day (about three year ago now for me), however, the day was quite strange for me. Earlier that year I had accepted an unconditional offer from the University of Leicester. This meant that I had a place study physics here regardless of how I did in my A levels.
However, in sixth form, though I think relative to my education level was just as capable then as I am now, I was significantly worse at exams. In short, when it came to revision I didn’t really know what I was doing. Though, I must admit, I did not try very hard on chemistry (because at the time I found it insufferably boring), I did try on my Physics and Maths exam. The problem was I just didn’t know how to revise. Even simple things, for example I didn’t see understand the value of doing past papers until very close to the end of the year.
Needless to say I did not do as well as I wanted in my A levels. Luckily, because of the unconditional offer I still got my place studying physics here. However, before starting uni I thought I would be at a disadvantage, I felt that my weak A levels made me seem less capable than I felt I was… maybe I was less capable than I thought.
However, once uni started it came clear to me that, in a way, the slate had been cleared. Doing well in your A levels is something to be proud of, that is for sure, but doing badly in your A levels is nothing to be ashamed of , not if you move on past it and prove that you can do better. A levels taught me something important: the importance of structured learning. There was no structure to my revision at A level, no planning, just goals with no path laid out to show me how to achieve those goals. Since A levels I have become a lot more organised. I have learned the importance of planning out systems and creating structures that create a clear path from where you are now and your goal negating the idea that things can be done by sheer willpower and perseverance. I am happy to sat I am proud of what I have achieved so far, and I am looking forward for what I have planned for the future and what the future has planned for me.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”