I remember thinking Results Day seemed like a dark cloud looming over all the fun of post-exam freedom and an extra long summer: but this was far from the case. It’s a day to celebrate and recognise all your hard work and revision from the previous months, because, regardless of your grades you’ve worked seriously hard to finish school and there was a lot of relief, but also nostalgia at it being the final time to step inside the school where I’d spent such a large proportion of the last seven years.
It’s important to stay calm, and make the most of the day – it was so lovely to bid farewell to teachers and classmates alike as we all set to embark on our different adventures. But preparation was the other key to making sure the day ran as smoothly as it could. My top tips would be:
- Make sure you’re familiar with your UCAS track: are your details correct so universities can contact you? I remember waking up to a confirmation text from Surrey stating that I had a place – definitely redefined the morning message meme!
- Refresh yourself with the specifics of your offer and the grades you would need in order to meet it. That way, I knew exactly what I was looking for on that piece of paper.
- The early bird certainly catches the worm, and everything seemed to happen so quickly that morning. So, make sure you get up nice and early. Celebratory pictures of my friends with our beloved brown envelopes outside the school gates have been pride of place on the mantelpiece since…it was definitely worth making sure I had time to make myself look at least half-awake!
- Have your phone and laptop to hand for when you wake up. The social media posts will be non-stop that day, and it was great to be able to pass on congratulations messages to all my friends who were delighted with their results, even if it meant they would be going to a different university than expected.
- Know exactly when you can collect your results – my school was very busy at the start, but it was nice to have the moral support of everyone there together; I’d recommend coordinating with your friends when you’re going to arrive.
- Be prepared to be patient, everyone had the same idea of logging into UCAS track at 8am and I couldn’t access my account. After a moment of panic that I had no results at all, it was all fine and was soon business as normal on the site, so please don’t panic!
But, most of all, planning for all eventualities is key: if all goes to plan (and fingers crossed for this), you can start the celebrations and preparation for university! Make the most of this – you’ve earned it! You can then check you’ve submitted any additional documents which your university requires – have a look on Surrey Self-Service for example, and also make sure that you have some accommodation in mind, be that a halls of residence application, or private sector housing. I received all my information from Surrey a couple of weeks after Results’ Day, and couldn’t believe how real it finally seemed – I was definitely off to university!
Nevertheless, it’s good to be prepared just in case things don’t go as planned. I’d tried to ask myself questions such as: “Would I like to apply somewhere through Clearing? Is it worth getting any remarks? Or would I rather take a gap year perhaps, and give myself more time to think over my options?” Having a plan in mind will make everything so much smoother, especially when it comes to the Clearing helplines. Perhaps you’ll even do better than expected, and this is where Adjustment could come into play. Start to have a think if there are any courses or universities you would have loved to apply to, but we’re dissuaded by the higher grades. Using the UCAS Clearing search tool will give you an idea of ones which might be available come 16th August, when you could make an application.
There’s no point trying to predict what will happen, or worrying yourself over looking up mock mark schemes, so just relax for the next couple of weeks – continue to enjoy this glorious summer. Have a little a think about what you’d choose, whatever the eventuality on that Thursday morning. I found it really useful to have a chat to friends and family beforehand – whilst you’ll be in the driving seat on the day making any calls to universities etc., don’t hesitate to ask them for their advice ahead of the day when you can use the Clearing search tool. All the very best for your results – make sure you’ve charged your phone for that morning, and hey, hopefully you’ll be needing it for the celebratory post on social media!