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44749_419610880422_6865315_nToday is the big day! Good Luck to everyone collecting their A Level results! For those that receive the results that they weren’t hoping for, DO NOT PANIC! This isn’t the end of the world and there is always a range of options, whether it is retaking, clearing or (and I wish I’d gone for this option sooner!) an apprenticeship. Going back 6 years, my day was a whirlwind of emotions…

Prior to completing my exams (IT, PE and Art), I had my heart set on moving away and going to University. Finally deciding on reading Sports Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Massage at University Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC).  I was soo excited to be leaving behind Evesham (nothing wrong with the  place but I wanted a change!) and having some independence. I needed to get 320 (old tariff) UCAS points and was unbelievably nervous that I wouldn’t get these grades (although I was a nightmare at school, I actually worked really hard!). On results day, a couple of weeks after my 18th Birthday, my mum drove me and my best friend (Jamie) to our high school to collect our grades. Jamie seemed really confident and it was no surprise really, the kid is an absolute genius and one of those really annoying people that wouldn’t have to study to get an A…I, on the other hand was a state. UWIC had such a good reputation with even my PE teachers studying their years before.

We entered the sports hall with tables upon tables covered in envelopes laid out in alphabetical order by our surnames. I was literally shaking and struggling to find ‘Rawlings’. My PE teachers came over to give me a hug and my results. I went into a corner and nervously opened the letter. I was actually surprised at my grades, receiving a ‘A B B’ but had a panic that this wasn’t enough. The PE staff came over and said ‘Congratulations, you’ve got into UWIC’ but I wasn’t convinced. A Connexxtions officer grabbed me to find a computer where I could access my UCAS account to see if UWIC had submitted a welcome letter.

I have never been the most patient of people and this was testing waiting for the sign in page to hurry up! I don’t know if this was due to the mass of students logging in but it felt like a lifetime away! And there it was… ‘Congratulations, you’ve been accepted into University Wales Institute of Cardiff’. The Connexxtions officer hugged and congratulated me but I was in shock and trying not to cry in front of this complete stranger!

I began walking back to the sports hall to tell everyone the good news, with my phone beeping like mad from family and friends (I had literally disappeared!). For someone that is not particularly emotional, I started to well up and felt a sense of pride that I’d never experienced before. My happiness was slightly short lived however as Jamie hadn’t been accepted into Liverpool. The rest of the day was spent sorting out his options with clearing and finding an alternative course. After hours and hours, Jamie was accepted at Glamorgan.. We were both heading to Cardiff!!!!

Although I attended university, I have learned more in the 2 and a half years in my apprenticeship than I did studying for a degree. I don’t regret the decision as I’ve made life long friends and gained experiences. But for my personal and career development, the apprenticeship was the right route for me. Regardless of all your results today, it doesn’t define who you are and what you can achieve .

Keep posted on my year. For regular updates, follow me on Twitter @No1_apprentice

Victoria x

Higher Apprentice and Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year 2015

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