Success is not just about hard work and dedication. Success is about having the belief that you can do it and you have nothing holding you back, as well as putting in the work. Here is my story of how I got into a top UK University…
I finished school with decent GCSE grades, but I was filled with dread walking into the world of A-levels. Talks of how much of a jump GCSEs to A-Levels were, worried me.
In my first year of college, I studied Psychology, Accounting, Maths and Biology at A-level, and my God, it was one hell of a jump! After just a couple of weeks, I was reconsidering my options. Should I choose different subjects? Or should I just drop to a BTEC? But then I remembered I had chosen this path for a reason and I should follow through with it. As end of year AS exams approached, I struggled to motivate myself to revise. My inner thoughts were telling me that it was too difficult and I wasn’t going to do as well as I wanted. Despite this, I picked myself up, did plenty of revision and sat the exams. Later in the Summer, I received my AS results in an e-mail on holiday, to find I had got BBCE respectively. With my targets being As and Bs, I wasn’t overly pleased, but it was ok.
Second year was arriving and I had to decide what I wanted to do. I decided to drop Biology (which I got an E in) and continue with my other 3 subjects. Knowing that the second year was going to be even harder than the first was a fright, but I had to motivate myself. At the start of the new year, I had to make my University choices. This wasn’t something I had thought much about previously. Once researching some Unis, I narrowed my list down and started to visit a few. But when I visited Durham University, I knew this was the place. I knew this was the University I wanted to go to. I could envision myself going to the formal balls in my gown. I was starting to see my future. But the required AAB grades seemed very distant considering my AS results.
Although I didn’t have a lot of hope that I would be accepted into Durham, I applied anyway along with a few other universities. Constantly checking on UCAS, I found that Unis were conditionally accepting me: Coventry, Newcastle etc. Yet not the University I desired. Eventually, Durham responded with a conditional offer to study Accounting and Finance. I couldn’t believe it! The feeling of joy was temporary, as I grasped the reality that I needed them high grades to actually go. The offer was there, and this was the push I needed to motivate myself. A few months before exams commenced, I quit my part-time job and dedicated all of my time on revision. I worked tirelessly for days on end: making revision cards, writing up notes, practising past papers, turning down nights out. It was mentally and physically draining, but once exams were over, it was a relief.
The wait for results day was then a killer. As the day of A-Level results woke, I set off to college at 7.40am, constantly thinking ‘what if I haven’t done enough?’. UCAS track wasn’t due to open until 8am but I tried logging in at 7.50am because the wait was too long. Surprisingly, UCAS track logged in straight away. I could not believe my eyes. “Congratulations! Your place at Durham University to study Accounting and Finance is confirmed!”. Re-reading it over and over, it took a few minutes to sink in, before I screamed at my mum that I was in, and started crying my eyes out. Finally arriving at college in a state, I picked up my envelope and opened it to find I had got the AAB grades I worked for!
Now, with just a few weeks to go until I begin my journey at Durham University, I am extremely glad I worked hard and consistently, and believed in myself. An important reminder to everyone out there, is that temporary pain can lead to a lifetime of success!