Tips for starting a new school

This is always a daunting prospect, whether it’s secondary school, college, high school or university. Here are some tips for making that first day so much easier:

  1. If you’re in to music, wear a band T-shirt on your first day. Someone may come up to you to compliment your good taste! If not, go up to someone yourself and compliment their good taste.
  2. Join a club. You’re bound to meet loads of people there!
  3. See a group of people having a good time? Don’t be shy, go up and talk to them! Just ask them politely if you can join in. If they say no, don’t try to force yourself on them, try someone else.
  4. Get your teachers’ or lecturers’ e-mail addresses. That way if you have a problem with the work set or in class,  you can ask them quickly and easily.
  5. Do some baking! Make some fairy cakes or some cookies to hand out. When people ask for one, ask for their name!
  6. Prepare the night before as much as you can. Put out your outfit, your books, maybe even your make-up. Changeable weather where you are? Put out two outfits!
  7. Dress smartly. It makes a good impression on potential friends, and on your teachers, too. A tea dress and some flats? A perfectly presentable outfit. Uggs and jogging bottoms? A definite no.
  8. Have to walk across a big campus? Wear sensible shoes. Obviously not hiking boots or anything, but shoes you know you’re comfortable in. No one wants to talk to the weird hobbly girl.
  9. Don’t look so miserable. Yes, you have to return to the grind after having a wonderful time off, but someone who smiles is a lot more approachable than someone who moans.
  10. Wear a quirky accessory. Or bring quirky stationary. They’re great conversation starters. Try a character pencil case, or a a fun hair bow.



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What to do with your exam results

Today, I got my AS results. They were okay – not brilliant – but okay nonetheless. I had set myself up to fail, so it was a pleasant surprise when I opened up my letter to find that I had not failed a single class, including maths, which I had freaked out about.

The chances are, you have done exactly as expected: received the grades you were predicted, and are looking forward to pursuing the next part of your life, which you have spent the last year or two mapping out. However, there are two other ways your grades could have gone; better than expected, or worse.

If your exams had gone better than expected, congratulations! But what had you planned on doing now? If you’ve got a university acceptance already, that’s great, but is there a possibility that you could end up at an even better establishment? In the UK, UCAS run an “Extra” programme, which shows you all the places that are available in your area of study and match your results. If your GCSEs are better than expected, it’s really easy to get into a college of further education. You just have to act fast. As soon as you get your results, ring up all the local colleges and I’m sure there will be one that is right for you. Did you know that as long as your grades are the minimum requirement, they are not allowed to turn you way?

If your exam results weren’t quite as spectacular as you hoped they would be, don’t panic! Believe me, I’ve been there! What was your plan? Can it be altered? UCAS’ “Extra” programme can also help students look for places in universities with lower grade requirements than the ones you may have initially chosen. If university or college is no longer an option, maybe you could try a gap year. You could have so much fun travelling, or you could get a job and attempt to retake some of your classes from the previous year. You never know, having some extra life skills could enhance your CV or resume, and may even get you accepted a year later to university. There are also foundation degrees, which are year-long qualifications at university which could help you decide if university is really the right path for you. If it is, you can continue straight away onto the undergraduate course. After your GCSEs, you could take the level below in your choice qualification. For example, instead of doing a B-tec level 3 you could do a level 2 or 1 instead. Although it adds another year onto your study, it’s worth it to get exactly where you want to go.

I hope this has been useful to you. If you need some more advice, don’t forget to e-mail me. I love receiving your messages!

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