The day starts early after a restless sleep. A month since the end of term, the end of school, when there was a feeling of jubilation and reflection in the air, the care free summer mood has been interrupted. 4 years of hard work at school and with a tutor comes down to this. All the carefully calculated plans devised in school with the help of a University Access Office and all the hopes and ambitions that they reflect hang in the balance. The opening of an envelope or the click of a button on the UCAS site can change the future. A nervous breakfast, light as there’s not much that can be kept down. The walk to school feels never-ending so you pick up the pace but then slow to a dawdle as a pang of apprehension hits. Smiling faces greet you, to calm the nerves. Name ticked off the list and the envelope handed over. 

There will be mornings like this one happening across the country on Thursday as Year 13 students pick up their A-Level results and find out whether they have made it to their first choice university. It is difficult to imagine for those not directly involved but for many the day, the night and even the week before will be fraught with nerves. We feel it keenly at The Access Project where University Access Officers have been working with students all year and, in some cases for much longer than that, building up to this day. After all the hard work they have put in we desperately want to see them succeed. This is why we will be at all our schools across London and the West Midlands on Thursday. It is a joyous day for some and there is no better feeling than seeing students’ eyes light up as they realise they’ve made it and the abstract future of university and young adulthood suddenly becomes more real and exciting. Unfortunately there are cases where grades are not quite met and places not achieved. For these students it is important to console but also to reassure – all is far from lost. Most of the day will be spent with these students, helping them ring through to universities in clearing. There are often great courses available and by the end of the day there are few who are not at least somewhat satisfied with where they end up. 

Bear a thought for these young people on Thursday and the obstacles they have overcome to be in this position. Follow us on Twitter and check our feed on the day to share in the joy of our students as we celebrate their achievements. If you are inspired, follow this link to volunteer and support a student from September.

Ed McDonagh, University Access Officer & Senior Comms Coordinator

Source: tap orig