School, A levels, leaving certs and grades etc.

Posted on August 19,2022 by Chloey Turner

Some of my thoughts on School, A levels, leaving certs and grades etc, because I’m back in the UK and I’m hearing about it everywhere..

I imagine there are many different emotional responses with A level results out across the country - ranging from pure joy and relief to disappointment and fear. For those that are celebrating results, after the last couple of years we’ve had, it’s incredible - Huge congratulations, enjoy the celebrations and whatever career path you choose. I always admired the students getting those grades ????????????

For those of you that are upset with your grades and left feeling a little defeated - I’d really just love to remind you from experience that poor grades are nothing to do with your capabilities, your worth & value as a human and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t go on to achieve your dreams and make a difference in this world.
Maybe you’re not even sure at this young age what it is that you want to do and where you want to go. It can be a confusing time. But that’s ok, clarity will come to you soon ???????? confusion is normal.

To say I was unengaged at school would be an understatement, I was struggling to learn and had very little support. A maths teacher of mine told me I was living in a fantasy world wishing to be either a dancer or an Olympic running athlete ????
“What’s wrong with living in a fantasy world” I would ask. Oh how It would be lovely to meet this teacher again now!

My hope is that the school system will make some changes and encourage the creatives and not just the academic. As of now I don’t believe this is happening, certainly not where I grew up anyway.
This blog post isn’t me suggesting that school, education and grades aren’t important- of course they are. Colleges will look at your grades, many employers will also look at grades, what I’m saying is that there are still plenty of opportunities for the non academics, like myself. I certainly appreciate those that are academics, I mean, where would we be without them. The doctors, the scientists etc ???????? bless you all!

One of the biggest, most important lessons I’ve learnt is that the shitty, disappointing, confusing times are an opportunity to look inwards, reflect & learn from the experience and as cliché as this sounds now - these times are an opportunity for growth. I didn’t learn this at school!

My school troubles stuck with me for many many years, in fact today, I still have to do a great deal of ‘unlearning’. The words, “I’m not a smart person”, for example stuck with me and would go on to affect me in many ways, it became a limiting belief that I held on to and that would often hold me back. This came from my early life at school and me looking at my lack of grades and education and believing that only the top students became successful.

Not all learning is done in school. I learn, I learn all the time - I learn what I want to learn, what brings me joy, what I’m passionate about and what is a aligned with my purpose. Really, we are forever learning - it’s not just something that you do until your 20’s at school. Educating yourself is a lifelong pursuit and this world is full of hope and opportunities now, for those with and without top grades from school, it really is!

A lot of the people that I admire and learn from through the books I read, podcasts I listen to and the courses I take on are by people that have overcome all sorts in their lives. Many of them were school drop outs and experienced lots of adversity throughout life, but they’ve ended up being the most remarkable people and with such beautiful values. There are many many success stories of people who “failed” at school.

As an insecure young girl who skipped A Levels, got ungraded in maths and was told I wouldn’t amount to much, but who presses on and continues to learn to live a life that is authentic and aligned with my values, I’ve come to truly believe that the world rewards not only the A* students, but the passionate, the persistent, the humble & the kind hearted.

I just wasn’t an academic and no matter how hard I could have tried, I did not have a maths brain or a passion for math. To have been told back then that that was ok and to be encouraged to head down a path that would suit me more as an individual, I may not have suffered as much as I did with my mental health and wellbeing. It certainly didn’t help.

I’ll leave you with this..

Your grades do not define you and your future. The real world will reward you for your kind, giving heart more.

And as the lovely Steven Bartlett says, “Your life is a result of your actions, not what mark you score on a test when you’re 18.

Thanks for reading.

With love and gratitude,

Chloey x

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