Team OSC share their results day memories

As students across the UK are celebrating or commiserating their A Level results, it's important to remember that your future doesn't depend solely on the A Level grades you receive. In fact, research shows that half of UK graduates work in a field that's unrelated to their degree! It's never too late to try again or take a different path to the one you originally had planned.
We spoke to some of the OSC team about their memories and experiences of A Levels, and how their results shaped their future.

Sharnie Carter - Marketing & PR Coordinator

“I was really disappointed with my grades on a level results day. I only just managed to scrape the grades I needed for my first choice of university. If I could go back, I would have taken more time to consider my options and probably chosen completely different subjects!”

Jacquie Lewis - Quality Assurance Manager

“When I left school, I had an O Level in English (back in the day) when I sat CSE’s. I received a separate certificate from Cambridge Assessment (which is still going actually). My mum was so proud, she showed it to the neighbours on either side of our house and even brought it into work! It really gave me the confidence I needed at that stage in my life to progress into teaching.”

Libby Barrett - Digital Content Executive

“I had an awful time throughout A Levels. I didn’t consider my choices carefully and picked four very heavy essay-based subjects and struggled to balance them all. Originally I wanted to study primary teaching. I got very low grades for my AS exams, so my predicted grades were low. I didn't get accepted onto any primary teaching course. That led to the choice through UCAS Extra to study Drama and Creative Writing instead. On A Level results day, I got very low grades because I'd had to retake all my AS exams as well. I was very disappointed, but I was offered a place at uni regardless.

I regret taking the subjects that I did, without fully considering my future and how I would be able to cope. Also, I didn’t have the option at school to retake a year and I wasn’t aware of distance learning which probably would have been a game changer!”

Kelly Goulding - Marketing and Communications Executive

“I went through the process of applying for full time university places while studying my A Levels because that’s what was encouraged at my school – even though my heart wasn’t really in it. On A Level results day, I achieved the grades I needed to be accepted on all of my offered places. By that time I'd decided I wanted to start working and continue my education alongside work instead, much to the shock and disappointment of my headmaster!

I was lucky enough to secure a job as a sales and marketing administrator, by a company who were willing to pay for my ongoing studies and let me have the necessary time out of the office to attend classes. I studied a HND for 2 years, then did a further 2 years top up to achieve my degree. Being in a business environment from the age of 18 was as valuable to my future as continuing my education. Full-time university isn’t for everyone, and that’s completely OK!"

Rebecca Dillon - Senior Learner Services Adviser

"I remember walking to school to collect my results. The 10 minute walk felt like 10 hours!!

My results were actually really good. I secured mainly A* - C grades – although I do wish I had tried harder to get more As and A*s. I loved my time at school while studying towards my GCSE’s. If I could go back in time I would definitely revise more!

It was lovely to see all of my school friends celebrating their grades, and some of our teachers even showed up to see how we got on.

One of my biggest regrets is not pursuing English Language & Literature, as English was definitely my best subject. I wish I’d studied English Language & Literature at A Level, and even gone onto university (although at the time this didn’t appeal to me)."

5 different stories from 5 different professional women...

...all showing that there's no right or wrong way to approach your education. Your studies at school or college won't necessarily dictate your future or your career.

If you've received the results you wanted and know what you want to do next, fantastic. Well done!

If not, don't panic. An industry specific qualification like one of our AAT, CACHE or CIMA courses could be a great alternative for you. But if university is definitely the path you want to follow then perhaps consider revisiting A Levels. OSC student Christian took a year to study an additional subject whilst working part-time, and will now be heading to university to study a degree he really loves.

Need more help? Give our student advisers a call on 03300 563100.

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Open Study College

Open Study College (OSC) have been leading the way in distance learning since 2007. Our team comprises of expert tutors, knowledgeable student advisers and a friendly student support team. Between us we have decades upon decades of experience in education and remote learning. Our blog is designed to help and guide you along the right path for you, by providing information, helpful tips and inspirational student success stories.

Team OSC share their results day memories