GCSE’s Aren’t Everything

gcse's aren't everything

I received my GCSE results all the way back in August 2015. It feels like a lifetime ago, now that I type it, but it really wasn’t that long ago. Although this blog post is being edited in 2018, that’s still only three years since I received my GCSE results.

As someone who took my exams a few years ago, I remember the phrase ‘GCSE’s don’t mean everything‘ being thrown around all the time. And, probably much like you, I thought it was rubbish. How could something I was so anxious about be worth so little?

In reality, GCSE’s are worth something. The revision your teachers encourage you to do isn’t for nothing, something that will become obsolete in a few years. However, as someone who has been there, I know that these exams will not always be the most important thing in your life.

My Own Experience With GCSE’s

Talking about hindsight, I wanted to take a moment to talk about my own experiences. When I took my GCSE’s, I was in a specialised, non-mainstream school for people with medical conditions that prevented people from succeeding in mainstream education. This meant that my choices for GCSE’s were already severely limited, and with the state of my health, I only ended up taking four GCSE’s. Even then, I still managed to fail two of them!

Things in life hadn’t always planned out to be this way. Before my mental health made mainstream school impossible, I was predicted A-C grades in every subject. I was too academic to be suffering according to the mainstream school I attended, if that tells you anything. My point here is that life gets in the way, and if something happens that affects your own performance academically, it’s not the end of the world.

I had to face the fact that my mental health took priority over my education, something which has continued and continues that way even now that I’m in college. Showing that I could be academic would’ve been a great achievement, but looking after my health was even more important.

The GCSE grades I received meant I got into college by the skin of my teeth. I had some Level 2 and Level 1 qualifications behind me that allowed me to enter onto a Level 2 Health and Social Care Course. This would not have been possible with my exam grades alone.

How Things Changed…

Despite the rough start, however, and crying all morning after receiving my exam results, I have been extremely successful in college. I found my calling, and I’ve worked at it, and felt inspired when the assignments I’m completely actually make sense. No longer is there immense pressure on me to achieve good grades in exams of subjects I barely understood.

In fact, I finished my Level 2 course with the highest grade possible, a D*D*. I was accepted onto the Level 3 Health and Social Care course with ease, and was even contemplating attending university. A mental health deterioration means I’ve had to put these plans on hold, but knowing they were even achievable after feeling so terrible about myself because of My GCSE’s means the world to me.

What I’m Trying To Say

By sharing my story, I want to help others understand that there’s always a way to pick yourself up, even when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. GCSE’s are something students in the UK are burdened with from primary school, just ten-years-old.

It can feel like you’ve failed if you don’t achieve the grades you had been predicted or had hoped to get, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I promiseJust look at Richard Branson, who founded the first of his fifty businesses after dropping out of school at fifteen! Crazy, right?

Even if you didn’t get the grades you dreamed of, or the grades you needed to get into your dream college, all hope is not lost. Give them a call. You won’t be the only person who needs to make new arrangements, or double check they’ll allow you on the course with lower grades. You might be surprised at the outcome you hear on the other end of the line.

Most of all, what I’m trying to say is, your worth is more than your exam results. No matter what is printed on the paper in August, know that you are still worthy. You can still continue with your dreams, even if you have to take a slight diversion to get there. Even if you’re not proud of yourself, am proud of you.

Thanks for reading, and until next time,


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