A ‘level results were announced 3 days ago. A time in the middle of August, primarily a hot, holiday month -at least in this part of the world, that every student whose entry at university depends on them, dreads! Both teens, as well as their parents, await this day with agony and anxious anticipation!
I know this from not only the thousands of high school students that I mentored and supported over these past 25 years, co-piloting with them on a journey that starts with
-guiding them with the selection of their A ‘level subjects at school
-helping them to decide on their career path & what studies at university
-directing them when making their final university choices on their application forms
-assisting them with preparing stellar Personal Statements
-guiding and advising them once they receive replies from universities
-empowering them through their examinations period
-celebrating with them / supporting them once they receive their final A ’level results
-offering pre-departure briefings to them, to prepare them adequately for their big transition
-following their progress over time and keeping in touch but also, from first-hand experience when my own two daughters were expecting their own A ‘level results! I can still recall the high palpitations & agony in those moments when they enter the system on the computer to find out, clicking on the relevant section!!!
For those who receive the expected results and are admitted to the university of their choice, life is from then on PURE BLISS, JOY & CELEBRATIONS!!!
There is another side to this however, for the students who do not manage to get the required grades, are not accepted to universities of their preference and who find themselves, some weeks before the new academic year begins at universities, lost, devastated and many times depressed. I have witnessed many, many ‘crisis’ happening within families, around this time of year. Because of this.
Here is when my job as a Career Coach & Counsellor for Teens & Young Adults, gains additional value and significance. For it is during these difficult times that both the students and the parents, need both the mental support, the encouragement, the empowerment, but also the know-how, expertise and practical advice that an experienced professional can offer.
In my long practice throughout the years, I have never allowed any teen seeking my support after they heard that they did not make the expected grades, to feel less, to lose trust in them, to feel that their “life has ended” (believe me I have heard this!), that they really screwed up, that their world is a mess, nor that they are worthless and failures! In fact, ‘failure’ is not a word in my vocabulary within our interactions with my young clients. After all, what does ‘failure’ mean?
Instead, I invite them to toss the coin over.
I invite them, with my guidance, to shift their perspective. On Results themselves! Yes!
To ponder on what these exact Results teach them! What is their learning?
What are their take-aways from this situation? What lies behind their results?
Here’s a set of questions I invite them to ask themselves:
-Did they actually DO the work that would secure them those desired results? Being intelligent is not enough. Blaming others is also not a solution
-Were they committed?
-Did they have the right support system?
-Was their life balanced and healthy on the whole as they were preparing?
-Were they undergoing something they perhaps did not talk about and held it inside?
-Was the subject they’d applied for at university, their own choice?
-Are they ready for university studies?
-Is the country they applied to, their own preference? Etc…
Results can lead us to answers that may lie deep inside a teenager. Answers that can embrace untold issues, thoughts and emotions.
This is why I invite parents who come to me, to embrace their children with love and understanding, especially during a challenging time such as this one. The only thing students really want to hear in these moments is:
“it’s OK, all is well. This happened, we love you and we are with you 100%! Now let’s see what Is next and what options you have…”
It is SO important for teens to see and to believe that they are not just the grades they get! That some A’, B, C, D, E’s, do not represent the WHOLE of them! They are much more than that.
And that of course, not getting the wished-for grades, is ‘not the end of the world’!
When this happens, it is actually an invitation to any student,
-to pause & reflect,
-to acknowledge some truths &
-to start taking personal responsibility!
Aren’t these important steps towards Inner Growth?
If any of the above resonate with you and
-If you as a parent can appreciate that the grading system is not the only criterion for what makes your child earn the titles of “successful”, “happy”, “achiever” etc.,
-If you as a student would love to find out more about what can uplift, boost you, help you build confidence, a positive self-image and how there are ALWAYS SOLUTIONS to challenging events
then let’s connect!
Contact me to schedule a “What’s next for me” Coaching Session where we can meet one another and get to talk about how to design your academic path, your career and your life!