Thursday, 18 August 2016

Results Day

The time of the year that all students dread has passed, for A-Level students at least, once more. Today I got my A-Level results and even though my place at drama school was confirmed many moons ago; I could stop being nervous.

I want to break down what i've been doing for the past two years, now that it's over and I don't mind sharing that sort of information on the internet. In 2014 I auditioned to get into a specialist performing, creative and productive arts school called Birmingham Ormiston Academy. I took part in a two day audition with fifty other potentials who had all applied to get in, there had been another two days for the other sixty or so potentials. Those two days were incredibly tough. So tough that people would break down in tears and others would walk out the room and not come back. But even though it was incredibly difficult, and exhausting, I adored every minute of it. A few weeks later I found out that I had gotten in and could take a BTEC Level Three Extended Diploma in Musical Theatre, this is the equivalent to doing three A-Levels. My parents had one condition in allowing me to go. This was that I had to do two a-levels alongside, both because that's what I would be doing if i'd stayed at my old school and so that I had something to fall back on if I decided that I didn't want to do musical theatre any more.

Little did I know how tiring that would become, but i'll go into that later.

I got my GCSEs, a few minor disappoints but nothing that would stop me from doing what I loved, and then I was onto BOA. Walking through those doors that first day was absolutely terrifying. I have social anxiety, something that I didn't truly realise until I was flung head first into a school where I knew no one. Basically, I didn't talk to anyone but teachers for about six weeks (unless I was spoken to, of course, i'm awkward not ignorant). Alongside this I did something that only five percent of people in my whole year did ... two a-levels and our pathway. Musical Theatre is the longest pathway taking up 15 hours. On top of this I had two a-levels of five hours each. The school week at Boa is 28 hours long. If you're good at maths then you will have discovered that that gave me 3 hours of frees. That's it. Some of my friends had 13 hours to do nothing (additional A-leveld were not compulsory after all) and I had 3 hours to do work for at least five different units for MT and then work (and revision) for my additionals. You can imagine that I was extremely stressed when Christmas came. But I didn't even think about dropping either of my additionals. I love both English and Geography and although there were times when all I wanted to do was cry I knew that I couldn't give up.

Alongside all of this I was constantly preparing for the ever approaching auditions and possible working career. That meant that I attended both classical and musical theatre singing lessons for at least four hours, drama and dance lessons too. Not to mention all the practicing that had to be done outside of these commitments and through all this I was teaching my own classes at my dance school. Basically I had no time at all. Yet I some how managed to get every unit of work for all three on time, sometimes even early, without having to pull a single all-nighter. I started revising for all of my exams in the summer holidays last year (we did both our ASs and A2s at the end of Year 13) and I started to do research for the upcoming year too so that I would be as prepared as possible.

I worked my little arse off; giving myself very little free time for anything but reading and writing. But I didn't care. I'm not a party person, I don't drink so I wasn't bothered that I missed out on house parties or huge gigs or anything. I'd rather spend that time memories quotes or finally figuring that difficult section out in my latest solo. I didn't mind. People told me that I needed to socialise more. But, to be honest, I didn't care. I was sorting out my future which some people I know still haven't done.

My time at BOA changed me for the better. I've made friends there that I wouldn't have dared to talk to had I been at any other school. I cut my hair into a bob so that i'd have a whole new wave of confidence. I accepted myself as I am and that has made me into a much better person that I was too years ago. The staff there, at times, were more like friends than teachers and would help me out in anyway I needed and there are some people who I now view as family because of how close we've gotten and I'm terrified to think that I won't be seeing them again all the time (maybe not ever again). These are people that I would see every day without fault and worked in such close quarters with. they really are a family for me and I'm going to miss them like crazy. Not to mention that I was able to go on two once in a life time trips which just helped me relax before the stress of exams kicked in.

For me, academic exams are never the best experience. I can do amazingly in all the mocks that are thrown my way and then i'll sit down in that hall and suddenly something just goes *click* and everything in the world that could possibly go wrong does. I worked my arse off for months on end whilst some people would pick up a book a few hours before the exam and be sorted. I spent very little time with my friends and family and I opened that envelope this morning expecting to see it all being paid off. For my BTEC it did. I got D*D*D* which is the highest grade possible (the equivalent to three A*s) and I was over the moon. Though I've known that for a while because my place at drama school was firmly confirmed about a month and a half ago tell me these grades. But then I looked at my two A-levels. Two subjects that I had poured my blood, sweat and tears into over two years and I got two Cs.

Now I know that sees aren't a bad thing. In fact they are exceptionally good. They meant that i'd passed and could flaunt them with style. But I expected so much more. Yes, I got the equivalent of A*A*A*CC which is amazing but those two Cs just looked so horrible. I went into BOA by myself and grinned my way through it. Sure there was no hiding that I was disappointed to my teachers and friends, they could all see it and I think that maybe they too had been expecting something more, but none of them could see how much it affected me. On my way in I'd been seeing Facebook posts from friends at my old school on how they had gotten A*AAA or A*ABB and stuff like that and they released on the news that thousands of people had gotten high grades. It had blown up my expectations and then this envelope told me. No. You've gotten two Cs. I'd left the house every day at 6:30 and not gotten in till 7 at night. Some nights it'd be even later if I went to classes. I revised anywhere I could and did everything that I could possibly do so that I would be prepared for what was going to happen. And all that work counted for two Cs. I had a friend who didn't even bother revising for her final two exams because she knew she was probably going to fail who's now appealing her results since she's two marks off an A. How is any of that far?

But then I read something earlier. There are so many people who may have gotten higher or lower grades than me who can't go to uni because they don't fit the criteria. My place was unconditional from the start and I've know since November of last year. Yeah I could be disappointed but it wasn't going to mould my life like it would for so many others. I'm going to my dream drama school in September and that'll hopefully go onto a career where no one will even look at my results. They won't care all they will care about is the package in front of them; me.

So, for those of you out there who are reading this. Whether that be for future results days or the GCSE results that are just around the corner. Really it doesn't matter. You can work as hard as you possibly can and whether that means you come out with an A* or a U it doesn't matter. Because your life will find a way to go the path that it is supposed to and all you have to do is keep your eyes open and let it. These envelopes don't determine your life or who you are. Don't let how you were in that exam determine the rest of your future. If you're going for a job interview then be confident and give them a reason to love you so that they ignore those results. Find something you love doing and fight for everything you've got and I know that you will be able to have the best life possible!

Book Total of 2016 - 64