Amongst the hard work and stress leading up to your exams, it’s easy to forget what comes after the final paper is handed in. The wait has begun, and with all your free time back it’s so easy to shove everything exam-related out of your head. However, the rest of your summer break will fly by, and with results day on the horizon it’s really worth considering your options.
What do you want to get out of higher education?
Firstly, it’s useful to think carefully about what your specific aims are after results day. You may have decided years ago that you want to go to university and that’s fantastic, but what do you want to get out of your experience? Write a list of reasons for your degree choice - why are you doing this? Getting a firm idea of what you want to achieve over the next few years will help provide a clear path to follow. You’ve worked extremely hard to earn a place at your dream university or job. Create an action plan and get the absolute most out of it.
What’s your specific direction?
You may be completely decided on a specific degree course or apprenticeship, but what are your specific interests? Do you have a speciality, or a field you’re particularly passionate about? As well as thinking about what you want to gain from your experience, begin to hone your skills to plan a direction your career could go in after you graduate. Starting university with a career plan already forming will help you make the most of every opportunity you encounter while you’re there.
Perhaps you haven’t quite made the decision between jumping straight into higher education, or taking time out for a gap year first. Without the distraction of revision, this is the perfect time to sit down and think carefully about which direction you want to go. University isn’t for everyone, so just because all your friends may be heading for uni doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you. Research apprenticeships in your field of interest, or look into projects you could carry out on a gap year. Thankfully there are so many options after finishing school, so there really is something for everyone.
How much relevant experience do you have?
It’s understandable that the last thing you want to think about after exams is more work, but this really is the best time to get out there and look for some relevant experience. Take a look on websites such as Indeed, which post hundreds of thousands of part time jobs, to see what relevant skills you can gain while you wait for results.
Another great way to get hands-on experience in your chosen field is by doing an internship. While some companies require you to commit to six months or more, others offer week-long or month-long positions that could fill the summer nicely. Check out Internwise to see what’s on offer in your area. While you should definitely take time out to relax after the exam season, making the effort to broaden your skill set and network with people in your chosen industry will really give you an edge over students who spend their whole summer on the beach.
For a comprehensive guide of what to do when results day arrives, have a read of the Complete University Guide’s breakdown to consider all your options before the big day.
Also, sign up to Loud Magazine, to ensure that you'll be receiving the results day edition straight to your inbox prior to results being released. This is jam packed with advice, guidance and exactly what to do no matter what situation you find yourself in once you have been given your results.
- By Rebecca Gibson
Tue 01 Aug 2017