Tag Archives: University

One Year

Hi there!

A year ago today, I started this blog. I’ve written fifteen posts (with multiple planned and draft posts – I really need to finish those!) since then, on a variety of topics related to education in some way. This isn’t a lot, compared to what some fantastic bloggers  do, but I’m proud that I managed to write them anyways. It’s been an interesting year:

  • I made a Twitter account for my blog, which allowed me to connect with some interesting bloggers and educators. It always surprises and excites me when somebody comments on my blog, or keeps up-to-date with me via my blog/ Twitter/ Facebook page, or replies to or re-tweets one of my tweets. I appreciate it. Tweets and Twitter chats always prove thought-provoking, and help me to consider what I might do as a teacher.

 

  • I started to consider postgraduate options other than going straight to do a PGCE after I finish final year. I still want to complete teacher training, but I have been thinking about whether I want to do an MA in English or an MA in TESOL before, or after, I’ve gained QTS. It doesn’t help that I get enthusiastic about a lot of different things, and a conversation at a Postgraduate Open Day I attended (there will be a blog about Open Days to come!) left me wondering about doing a PhD, for the second time in my life.

 

So what’s coming up? Well, apart from blog posts, I turn twenty next month, and in two months’ time I will finish my second year of University!  I’ll also be choosing my modules (classes) for third year, discussing my dissertation idea(s), and writing my personal statement for post-graduate courses. Exciting and nerve-wracking times.

Have a great day!

Jessica

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Are you celebrating a milestone in blogging, or a milestone in education? I’d love to hear from you!

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Filed under Career Planning, Education, Personal

Mental Health Awareness

Hello!

I’m very sorry for my protracted absence.  ‘What have you been doing?’ you ask? Well I have been working away at University (I just received official confirmation of my semester one results yesterday, which make me happy), keeping up with family and friends, reading, learning a bit more Turkish (though I must confess I learn more how to sing Turkish songs than I do my basic words, but I did recently learn how to say ‘great’ (‘harika’) and ‘congratulations’ (‘tebrikler’)) and more! I’ve also recently signed up to a short online course, which excites me. I have essays due in the not-so distant future, and revision to do for an exam in the Summer, so I’m going to be very busy. That won’t completely stop me from blogging though! I just need to manage my time well.

Without further ado, I shall now give you a short blog post:

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Did you know that today, the 3rd of March, is University Mental Health Awareness Day in the UK? This post will not just be directed at  University students though – it’s directed at anybody and everybody. Your mental health is extremely important, and should be treated as such.

If you’re having worrying thoughts or changes in mood, I highly recommend that you talk to at least one of the following people:

  • A family member/ carer
  • A friend
  • Your doctor
  • Support staff at your school/ sixth form/ college/ University/ workplace
  • A colleague/ manager
  • Your personal tutor at school/ sixth form/ college/ University
  • Your Programme Leader (at University)
  • Your Student Representative (at University, though a similar thing exists in schools as a school buddy).
  • The Samaritans

There is such a wealth of support, and these people should be willing to help you, even if it’s to direct you onto a more suitable person. You have nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about, although I understand it is easy to feel that way. If one of these people dismisses your issue, please don’t be disheartened. They just might not know how to respond correctly. Instead, talk to somebody else.

But how should one respond, ideally? This is something we need to learn how to do, if we don’t already naturally do it. We need to be patient, attentive, and unassuming. This means listening to the person, not rushing them, and not putting words in their mouths. In fact, talking might not be the method somebody wants to use to initially communicate a problem to you. They may want to write it down, or even draw a picture instead. What should then happen, is that you direct the person onto somebody more suitable e.g. a support staff member or a doctor. If you don’t know who to direct them to, it’s okay to ask somebody, ‘If you’re having a personal issue, who do you go to?’

Always remember this: personal issues do not define you, or any person. There are many inspiring, good people with fantastic aspirations who struggle – they just need some extra support to help them.

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Jessica

P.S. – The end of this month will mark one year since I set up this blog, so you can expect a post on the one-year date too, and maybe another post for good measure!

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Filed under Education, PSHE

What Could I Do When I Have My Results? Advice for Further Education Students

Hello,

You may have seen my previous post ‘A Short Guide to Results Day and Clearing (a Video Blog)‘. This post is a second part to it, though it is not a video blog this time. Today, I thought I would give further education (examples: A Level, BTEC, Scottish Higher) students some advice on what they could do when they receive their results. The routes are organised into specific categories:

Results better than expected/ wanted/ needed

  • Adjustment (University). If you are already planning to go to University, and you receive results that are better than you expected (well done!), you will highly likely (unless something went wrong) receive an unconditional offer from your first choice University.  This means you will be able to attend it in the new academic year. If you want to though, you can look at Adjustment. Adjustment is the process provided by UCAS, through which students who achieve better results than expected can keep their unconditional offer, but also have a look at other courses or Universities they may want to attend instead.

If you find a course or a University that you are interested in, then like Clearing, you ring the University in the hopes that you could obtain a verbal offer. If you receive any verbal offers, you may want to consider your decision carefully, and if you want to change your chosen University or course, you request to be released from your unconditional offer (you should be able to do this, check UCAS), and select the course and University who gave you a new verbal offer.

If you decide that you do not want to change University or course, then everything is okay, as you still have your original unconditional offer.

Good luck at University!

Results as expected/ wanted/ needed

Well done! You can do anything listed under ‘Any of the above outcomes’.

Results lower than expected/ wanted/ needed

Ah, I understand this situation. I hope you know that as long as you tried your best that is all that matters, and you can still be successful after this. It is okay to cry (remember to bring tissues with you on Results Day, and also somebody supportive if you want to), but let me just repeat a part of my last clause, to make sure you read it: you can still be successful. So what can you do?

  • Re-sit. This probably sounds like a horrible idea, but if you are so disappointed with your results, or your teachers or family members advise you to, you may want to consider re-sitting. There is no shame in re-sitting, as long as you try to learn where you went wrong (ask your college or sixth form whether they can request your paper/s back on your behalf for you to learn from your mistakes – you, or the school, will have to pay for these though), and try your best in the next academic year. Trying your best does not mean overworking though, as I overworked in my last year of A Level and that had a negative effect on me and, I believe, my results. If you are worried about your employability prospects, as I was when I received my results, talk to a careers advisor (or a teacher/ family member/ friend who understands this area).
  • Ask for a re-mark. If your result is close to the next grade boundary, you may want to think about getting a re-mark of your paper/s. If you do get a re-mark, your result may go up, stay the same, or even go down afterwards. It can be a difficult decision, and you or your school will have to pay for the re-mark, so talk about this option with your teachers (and your family too if you want).

Any of the above outcomes

No matter what happens, you can do any of the below:

  • Gap year. You might have already planned to do this, but if you feel too overwhelmed and do not know whether you want to go to University or get a steady job, you may want to consider taking a gap year. A gap year is a perfect opportunity to travel, to build up work experience, and to work out what path you want to take (though you can always follow a different path later in life, you are never resigned to one path). Just remember you want to be able to tell future employers what you did (productively) in your gap year, if you choose to take one.
  • Clearing (University). I went through this route, so I just want to re-assure you that by no means are you a ‘failure’ if you go to University via this method. I say a bit more about it in the video blog I mentioned at the beginning of this post, but basically Clearing is where you can find courses with vacancies at Universities across the country. The major difference, from applying to University earlier in the year, is that you must receive a verbal offer/ offers first, and then only select one course when you login to UCAS. When your choice is confirmed, you can get ready for University!
  • Job/ Apprenticeship. You might already have something lined up, or you might just decide after getting your results that you would like to find a job or an apprenticeship. Try not to worry too much if you think you are too late for an application – have a look on websites and in newspaper listings as soon as you can, if not straight away, with an idea of what sort of area you would like to work in/ what would be helpful to your career goals. If there is a careers advisor at your college or sixth form, it might be a good idea to talk to them – they should be able to help you efficiently. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, and good luck!
  • Celebrate. After you leave your sixth form or college, you students who received the results they wanted, or who received results that exceeded your expectations, might start thinking about where and how you are going to celebrate. If your results were lower than expected/ wanted, you might just want to go home and think about your options, or let yourself feel upset for a bit, but it might be good to go out and ‘celebrate’ with your family or friends. You probably think I mean that sarcastically, but I do not mean it so. My parents took me out for a meal to celebrate, because even though I was upset with my results, and they were upset for me, they were still proud of me (we had a meal when I received my GCSE results too, and they were higher than I had expected). Getting through further education is a major accomplishment, so well done (even if you do not believe it now)!

You may feel surprised at the number of options listed under ‘Any of the above outcomes’, and that is because I do not want to suggest a certain route for a student to follow. For instance, those who achieve highly may not want to go to University (even if they showed a prior interest, or are expected to by others), and those who do not achieve as well as they wanted to can go to University if they so wish (dependent upon the entry requirements of the university/ universities they are interested in attending). I want students to realise that there are so many options open to them.

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If you are a student, or a parent/ carer of a student, expecting their results, please feel free to share this post with other students. You may also want to make notes if you want to discuss the options with your family, your teachers or even your friends (I might have missed some options, but these are the ones I know of – please tell me if I am missing anything. A different website might take a different approach, and it is never bad to investigate other websites with something so important as results advice, as long as they are impartial).

Let me know if this post is helpful – I would love to hear from you. If you’re reading this before Results Day on Thursday 13th August in the UK, good luck!

Jessica

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Filed under Education, Results

A Short Guide to Results Day and Clearing (a Video Blog)

Hello,

I thought I would try something a bit different today and post a video blog.

Let me know what you think please.

EDIT: I did not want to overwhelm you with too much information in the video, and I was awaiting permission to mention this (I have now gained permission), but I also used the Exam Results Helpline a day after Results Day, when I was still upset about my results and feeling unsure. They are a free service who offer impartial advice to students about their results. I messaged them via their Facebook page, but you can also ring them on 0808 100 8000. Additionally, they have a Twitter page, which is also helpful for keeping yourself up-to-date with them. I hope this information proves helpful to you, along with the video below.

Jessica

Disclaimer: I was not paid to mention the Exam Results Helpline, I just thought it might be helpful to mention it, because a student reading this could end up using it.

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Filed under Education, Personal, Results