Column: Whatever the result, find your own path and follow a dream

Editorial image of students celebrating their A level results

Editorial image of students celebrating their A level results

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There will have been a lot of sweaty palms this morning, and I don’t mean because of the weather.

Students up and down the county will head into their school or college to pick up their A-level results and the week after it will be GCSEs.

On Thursday university hopes will be raised or dashed in the opening of an envelope, and no doubt plenty of alcohol will be drunk in celebration/ commiseration as the day goes on.

I hope you all do absolutely amazingly well and get exactly what you need.

But, A-level results receivers think on this – it’s not what it says on the paper, it’s how hard you are prepared to work to reach your goals that makes the difference.

That’s what makes you who you are, and defines you as a person.

In life you have to roll with the punches.

Yes, you might not be able to be a doctor without a university degree and medical training, but that doesn’t mean there is not an equally fulfilling career out there for you.

I was one of the lucky ones absolutely – I’ve always known that I wanted to be a journalist.

I’m lucky because many young people don’t realise their vocation until much later.

But, that said, I ended up here in the most haphazard way.

I hated school, and scraped through my GCSEs with C grades and a double A in English, the only subject to me that mattered.

While at school I’d already started writing, reviewing gigs for magazines, producing a terrible punk fanzine called Cheap Shot and even making my own Sex Pistols website full of band interviews and teen angst.

At the time it made sense in my weird teenage brain to go to music college, which I did, and then to study for a degree in creative writing.

After university, and only then, I took my journalism training, the only actual qualification that I really needed!

I’ve since worked all over, and this from me: I’ve seen Oxbridge graduates on national newspaper newsdesks with no common sense, and journos with no degrees win awards.

So, dear reader, it’s not what you get on results day that matters, it’s all the other stuff you do, all the hard work and the interesting stuff and the life experiences that make you.

That’s what matters.

You will be just fine.