That's Life: How to cope with A-Level results day (and further)

Aaah so it's the end of the academic year and hopefully everybody is enjoying themselves this summer. However, if you're awaiting A-Level results at the end of August, it's understandable that it can be a bit of a strain. To think that a piece of paper with some letters on can determine where you're heading for the future is quite scary… So here are some tips to help you cope on the inescapable, inevitable, shit-scary results day. Obviously a lot of this applies more to students who are sitting exams here in the UK, however the advice to do with the 'coping with exams' thing in general may prove quite helpful for students who don't live here in good old Blighty.

1. Man up.
If your results weren't quite as you expected, the first thing to do is man up. Usually in such a situation a teenage boy is likely to either breakdown on the floor, become a nervous wreck, throw a tantrum or horribly murder the happy straight A students who are getting their pictures taken with the headteacher or principal, and shout how "it isn't fair, and I should have got their grades, because they're all dicks and I hate them"… *ahem*. But, just envisage yourself as the elegant and forever grateful Tourette's Guy, the King of Manning Up. Just tell those straight A chumps to 'go and take a two hour shit at Jolly Pirate Donuts for all [you] care.'

2. Remember that you're not the only one.
You're in the same boat as everybody else. If it didn't quite work out for you in some of your subjects, and while it's scary, it's also tempting to become so self-absorbed in to your own situation, panicking about what will happen; that you will make it all so much worse. Instead, have a chat with some of your mates on the day just when you find out, and you will find yourself to not be the only one who feels slightly disappointed.

3. Be prepared.
While it may seem easy enough to just go into your sixth form college to collect your results, you may want to bring a few things along, just in case it all goes a bit pear-shaped. A charged phone with a good top-up, for example, will come in very handy when calling universities and wanting a head start about applying through Clearing (refer to the point below). A copy of your personal statement, to refer to will also be useful as well as a pen and a pad, when talking to the admissions tutor on the phone, as you will need to note down any details that they may mention. Also buy, and if needs be, refer to the Telegraph newspaper, which contains a full list of clearing vacancies. Also, bring some tissues along when you feel a bit like breaking down on the floor and crying. Or if you feel like a crank. Whichever takes your fancy. Oh and a used condom, for any boastful pricks who need a good slap in the face.

4. 'I think I may have missed my university place, due to my lower-than-expected final grades. What can I do?'
If you have planned on heading to university, hoping to add yourself to the ever increasing population of scummy students, but you haven't reached the course's grade requirements, do not panic. Check UCAS Track, to see if your 'Conditional' place has turned to an 'Unconditional' place, as universities and courses can be forgiving, and if it has, well done. YOU'VE DONE IT! Give yourself a little pat on the back and pop off home to tell everyone you know.
However, if you find that both your Firm and Insurance places have turned to 'Unsuccessful', don't worry as there is still a chance to get another offer. This process is called 'Clearing' and helps people who don't hold university places find suitable vacancies on higher education courses. If both of your offers come up as being declined, you will be eligible for Clearing, and will be allocated a Clearing Number, which you'll find on UCAS Track. Buy a copy of the Telegraph (which shows all vacancies and will be released on results day) and ring around universities to discuss your application and show an interest to the various admissions tutors you'll be speaking to. 
Be sure to quote your Clearing Number, so that they can view your application. You will then either be offered a place, put on a reserve list or turned down. You can show an interest in as many university courses as you like, but you can only choose one, so don't rush and accept the first offer you receive. Be sure the course and university is right for you and be sure that you've checked and discussed that you can put them down as a clearing choice on UCAS Track. UCAS will then contact the university you've chosen in order to verify your acceptance. If they accept you, this will be shown on Track in the 'Choices' section, and UCAS will also send you your confirmation letter, where you will have officially gained a place. 
 PHEW! Well done! The clearing process has been completed. Now go and tell everyone you know, drink and be happy.

5. Photobomb all the photographs of the happy people in your year who got the results they wanted.
Do this. It'll make you feel loads better. Especially since those dicks are making you look worse because they did four full A-Levels, with the EP Qualification on top and have got A's and have probably applied to Oxbridge… they probably even have a bigger house than you… they fucking deserve it.

Be like Mr. Sloth here. Be a total lad. A SlothLAD.

Those waiting for their results, may also be worried about the new place where they'll be drinking, eating, bitching and oh yes, earning their qualifications. However, before heading off to your new educational establishment there's a few things you should know... A lot of common sayings are shown below, regarding sixth-form college, university life and degrees (you know the things you're going there for?) with an in-depth analysis on the side, to show their credibility (or lack of). Please note, if you're a sensible person, taking sensible subjects, you won't need to read this part. However if you're one of these people, equipped with a sense of humour, keep reading. Those thinking that A-Levels in Dance, Photography and Media Studies are subjects to be taken seriously, or that a degree in Philosophy isn't a bad course choice, are going to need to read on, so I can show you how silly you are.

'I'm just going to uni to enjoy the experience and for bare bants!'
Dicks who say this need a good punch in the face. The point of going to university is to earn a degree so that you can move on and progress into employment. Of course, enjoying yourself and having a good social life and soaking up the experience is what should accompany your studies, but it shouldn't be all about going out every night and getting pissed and crawling home at ridiculous o'clock in the morning and then having loud, drunken sex with a slag you found having a piss in the street with sick dripping down her chin. Those using university as a comfort blanket so they don't have to go out into the big wide world of work, without really wanting to earn a degree should have their grubby beds thrown out of the windows of their halls of residence, while tramps happily kick them and vomit on them.

'A-Level Photography isn't a real A-Level!'
What is this person talking about? Obviously, getting your parents to buy you a camera at an extortionate price for a subject that you'll probably only do for AS, to take a few pictures of a tree, give them a sepia effect, pretending that they have a deep meaning, and then handing them in for coursework, makes for an extremely difficult A-Level… or perhaps not. However, that camera will come in useful for when you're at parties, and if you ever feel the urge to take photos, hoping to plaster them on Facebook, so everyone knows that you were there.
'I can be like the kids off of Skins, if I go to sixth-form college. Hurray!'
But, will you ever have the amazingly shit and unrealistic lives that the ragtag team of chums have in Skins? I don't think so… as those teenage romances really can take their toll. However, I'm sure you can act a bit like them, by taking up hardcore hobbies such as sitting in the canteen trying your best to look bored and broody, smoking, sighing, bitching, forcing your new found political views on your friends, and wearing cardigans… it's a fucking tough life isn't it?

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