July 24, 2017, by Guest Blogger

No worries – Katie’s story

‘I’ll be fine’, I thought, having finished my last A level exam, and thus my time at college.

‘Even if I crash and burn with my exams, I have back-ups, alternatives, options. Things I’d be proud and excited to do. There’s more than one path to university – and, if the worst-case scenario happens, and I don’t get into university, life will still be good. There is absolutely nothing to worry about.’

And so began the summer of 2015, in which I worried more about my future than anyone has the right to do.

From the moment I got home after my last exam, I worried.

In the first weeks of that incredibly long summer, I was concerned, but kept a handle on it. After a month, I began to talk through my worries constantly with friends and family. By the month before the exam results were released (and thus, my path to university supposedly set in stone), I was constantly panicked, and the exams I previously thought I had done well in had ballooned into monstrously bad performances that would have the marking staff rolling around the floor with laughter and my former teachers refusing to even speak to me.

The night before results day, I didn’t sleep.

At 3am, I started texting my friends.

At 5am, I opened the UCAS page and began a campaign of page refreshing.

The moment they appeared on my screen was strange. Months of my life had been devoted to the anticipation of this moment, and there was absolutely nothing that warranted it. My results were slightly below what was required, and yet I had still gotten into my first choice of university.

It all felt so… underwhelming.

I looked at my course and felt very little. About ten minutes after the release of the results, when my friends were celebrating or preparing to drink the day away, I realised that the reason I felt so little was that I wasn’t actually interested in doing that degree anymore. For months, the nerves had kept me going through, not allowing myself to evaluate whether I actually wanted the place or not, instead too focused on GETTING it.

There was another course I wanted to be on. I rang the Clearing hotline and asked if it was possible to change. I heard her fingers hit the keyboard about three times.

‘Done’, she said.

I had accomplished more during ten minutes of being mindful as to what I actually wanted than I had in months of needless worry that ate away at me.

My advice to those waiting to hear if they get into Nottingham? It’s a good university, and the staff care, and want to help you. Take some time to figure out exactly what you want from it, and less time pointlessly worrying!

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