Thursday 20th August 2009 is a day that many year 13 students (6th formers / college kids or whatever you're calling yourselves these days) will be dreading/looking forward to in equal measures.
It is the much anticipated A2 level results day, and for many people will decide their immediate future come September.
It's a day I remember all too well. I'd retaken half of my AS levels along with my A2 exams and I unfortunately hadn't got the grades I needed for my offer for medicine. I was honestly heartbroken, but deep down knew that I hadn't tried hard enough. Looking back however, it's a fork in the path that has changed my life for the better.
I'm going to give you my brief advice on surviving the day in question, and how to make the most of whatever happens.
Firstly, you may not want them there, but if a parent/guardian/loved one offers to come with you on the day, take them up on it. My parents were the last people I wanted around on the day, but I am really glad they insisted on driving me there and waiting in the car. It's good to have a shoulder to cry on or to celebrate with. Either way, they probably want to be there too.
Secondly, if the worst happens then don't panic. I know everyone will be saying this, but I didn't get the grades I needed and I've still managed (by hook or by crook) to get onto my desired degree pathway. Call the university that has made you an offer if you miss your grades. Even if you have missed them by a mile (as I did) they may make you an alternate offer for a related course, and this is how I ended up where I did and doing the course I did (my actual back up courses were BSc Chemistry at Hull and MChem at York). Let's face it, they know which courses will be suitable as a foundation to medicine, and they obviously liked you at interview.
Thirdly, don't rush into anything. Even if you say yes to a back up course you can still decline it until you sign the UCAS paperwork. Making rush decisions is what leads to many drop outs in freshers week and the weeks following it. Make sure the decision is yours, and not your parents or an over eager admissions tutor.
All of this aside, this period will probably be a very rushed, slightly daunting time for anyone waiting for results.
Fingers crossed that you won't need any of this advice, and the results you get will be the ones you need.
And if that is the case, consider your local A&E department when you go out drinking to celebrate (I worked one of the results nights in A&E and it was messy...).
Best of luck,