Cheerleaders, clear values and post-it notes. Boom!

Every ‘A level’ results day I get rumblings of the green-eyed unicorn (not as mean as the monster!).

Yes, I don’t know what’s on those little slips of paper those kids are collecting (or do they come by email now?). But, I know they have choices before them – SO many choices!

I collected my ‘A level’ results August 1998. I gave my all to the course work – love a project. But, when it came to the exams and preparation for them, meh, I’m not made for revision!

Needless to say I didn’t quite get the grades for my first choice university and for a few hours, there was a bit of a drama!

I know now that was for a reason – or at least that’s the mantra I’ve come to adopt. With the benefit of hindsight I can comfortably say to myself, everything happens for a reason.

That’s not me absolving myself of any responsibility to make stuff happen – only I can do that. But, with a bit of faith in yourself; if you’re lucky, the support of others; and, a drive in your tum to make stuff happen, then things will work out and you can make whatever that is, work for you.

A couple of weeks ago when students in Scotland collected their exam results, there was a hashtag doing the rounds on Twitter – #NoWrongPath.

Blooming brilliant!

This has been my path… so far.

Whenever I hear of people who have a career plan I wonder how they worked that out – a small part of me wishes I could be so organised, but the biggest part of me wonders what they have already missed out on or, might miss out on in the future.

I ended up at my second choice uni. It meant I didn’t get the 12 month work placement with MTV that my first choice flashed at me and, who knows what other opportunities I missed because of it.

What I do know is that I had the best three years down in the sunny south-west of England. I left with a degree, fantastic friends, life-long memories and confidence.

Everything else I’ve achieved, messed up, celebrated and/or cried about has been a result of opportunities I’ve made for myself. Gambles I’ve taken or leaps of faith I’ve made.

I’d be foolish and telling fibs if I didn’t admit here that sometimes other people’s belief in me was greater than mine in myself.

It’s easy to say in retrospect that the morning I collected my ‘A level’ results wasn’t deserving of being the tear-fest it turned into – but that drama hasn’t defined the 20 years that have followed. What has defined that and continues to define it, is self-belief, confidence, courage and the support of others.

Grab yourself some cheerleaders, some clear personal values and a pack of post-it notes and, you CAN conquer the world!

Good luck with your next step x


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