Every year we see students excitedly opening their results on our TV Screens, some with joy, some with devastation. Whatever your views I think we can all agree that this has got to be one of the weirdest hardest things our young generation faces. I’m not sure how I would have coped knowing that all those years of study, hard work and dedication had been robbed of me? So for everyone getting their A – Level, Degree and GCSE’s results, especially my daughter….
Dear Sophie and every student of 2020,
Things I wished I’d known;
- I’ve got 11 GCSE’s grades A to C with one mortifying D – no one cares. I couldn’t even tell you were my grade papers are. In fact no one has ever asked to see my coaching diploma either!
- I’ve got 3 average A levels – no A’s – no one cares. (See below for the English grade – shocking!)
- I wish someone had told me that what I think about myself, how much confidence I have, how I communicate and what I believe to be true would be far more important than any letter on a piece of paper.
- Things that feel hellish and awful now rarely feel like that in years to come, in fact you are likely to look back on them and laugh and ask “Why did I stress so much?”
- Failing is good for you. I never told anyone I got a D for years. I was so upset. I’d failed. I was not good enough. One letter in my head was a definition of the young woman I was, how wrong I was. People don’t go on to do amazing things because life is good. We wouldn’t have Penicillin had it not be for someone being lazy and not bothering to clean out his Petri dishes before his holiday – naughty Nobel prize winner Fleming.
We don’t look to change and improve because life is great, we look to change because something is bad or wrong. I think we can safely say that this year has had plenty of bad to it, you will be the most resilient, determined can do attitude generation ever to have lived. Remember great inventions happen because of disasters (air bag inventor John Hentrick wouldn’t have saved thousands possibly millions of lives had he not have ended up in a ditch saving his daughter’s life because he reached out at just the right moment.)
Traffic lights, wind up radios, rubber sole shoes all came out of disaster as people looked to find a better way. That is not defined on a piece of paper. What you will need to be successful in life is;
- Self belief.
Believe you can and no matter how many times you get knocked back you will up and do it all again;
- Dyson had 5126 versions before the one that worked and helped him become the multi-billion dollar company he is today.
- Richard Branson left school at 16 – I think we can agree he did okay.
- Lord Sugar only has 2 GCSE, he is worth well over a billion.
I could go on telling you about media moguls, billionaires, authors and celebrities who failed shockingly in their studying days and still achieved amazing things. So hold on to that fact.
You did the best you could with who you were back then. You are already more today. Cool right?
And remember when you open that email/envelope only you can decide how you define what you read.
And no matter what happens you have the proof that you can achieve – you aren’t still crawling around in a nappy saying Da, Dad, Ma, Ma are you? So clearly you can learn, you can achieve more and be more – that is not a young person thing, that is a all humans thing. (Well those that want to do well in life).
And lastly Sophie and everyone opening those emails today – this is just the start, exciting right?
Oh, and that English grade? GCSE – B (I think) and A level (C) yes a shocking C!
It didn’t stop the UK’s top nonfiction publisher from phoning me and asking me to write Fight the fear for them. They’d read my blog and loved the way I wrote – so Ha, Mrs Grimstone turns out you were wrong and I can write, so much so that my latest book has a foreword from not one globally recognised expert but two! Who both think I’m awesome and know what I’m talking about. The fact is that a grade is not going to define you, you are.
Choose wisely, think big, and know you can do it.