Result’s Day: The Things I’ve Learned From Failing High School. 

2015, A Quick Word, Evie

Tomorrow/today (depending on which side of midnight you’re reading this) is quite possibly the most dreaded day of the entire year. For many teenagers across the UK at least, as they all arrive at the place they’re all hoping to escape from; High School. It’s result’s day, and they are all going to collect their A-Levels, and then it’s time for the GCSE lot next week.

Both are exceptionally difficult.

For many, gathering at their school with awful, clinical walls and awful dress-codes and awful cafeteria food, it will be their last time there, and they never have to step foot into the place ever again. They’ll open up these little brown envelopes of unimaginable authority, and it will be good for them. They achieved their target grades, or better, and got into their Sixth Form or university of their choice (or choices, or just the single one that accepted them, it doesn’t matter). They get to say a great big “goodbye” to all of the awful things mentioned above and move on with their lives. And are about to embark on the next big adventure, whatever it is.

If you are one of them: congratulations! You worked hard and you rock!

For some it will be the exact opposite of all of this. Perhaps they will open the scariest letter they will ever encounter (other than debt collection bills, look forward to that!), and what is inside will be the last thing they wanted to see. Perhaps their grades will be decent but not what the universities wanted. Perhaps their grades were just…. “Bad”. And now they don’t get to embark on their next big adventure as planned. And they are going to have to return to the awful clinical walls and awful dress-codes and awful cafeteria food…

If you are one of them: YOU WORKED HARD AND YOU ROCK!

You should all be proud of yourselves no matter what your results say.

But there is more to say….
Okay. Let’s be honest; the grades you received weren’t the best, or what you expected, and quite possibly don’t even match up to your vast potential. And now you have to re-sit exams or even re-sit an entire academic year in order to pick yourself back up and move forward.

And let’s be honest…. That feeling kind of sucks.

But it’s okay. Here’s why:

If you are in GCSE and you failed to get your required grades in either of the compulsory subjects (English, Science and Maths), it’s okay! Colleges and Sixth Form offer extra classes and re-sit exams in order for you to carry on with further study. It’s not the end of the world, and you can figure out exactly what you need to do to improve.

If you’re in A-Levels and you didn’t get the grades you needed or desired… IT’S OKAY! If you got lower grades than you thought but still managed to get into university, the grades don’t even matter anymore! And good luck in the next step! If you didn’t, you are going to have to re-sit whole subjects and classes and an entire other year in order to re-claim your grades and improve. But it is not the end of the world.

Just a set back. And that’s all.

Trust me. I’ve been in exactly the same place.
So…. It’s results day. Here is exactly what you need to get yourself prepared for:

1) Lot’s of crying.

It’s totally okay for you to open the envelope and squeal with excitement. It’s totally okay for you to cry tears of happiness at how well you’ve done. And it’s totally okay for you to scream in frustration or sob with disappointment. Everyone in the entire room has gone through emotional turmoil during the exam period, and emotional torture in anticipation for this day. And now all of you are entitled to let it all out no matter how you are feeling. The moment is yours, do not pay attention to anybody else. Do not compare yourself to anyone else.

If you passed, you worked incredibly hard and you achieved everything you wanted to. Now you can start planning your future and excitedly discuss with peers how you are going to decorate your student accommodation and swat up on all of the best places to visit in your new town/city/country. You have the right to this, you’ve deserved it after all…. But be wise about who you talk to about your excitement. Perhaps a friend missed out on getting the same opportunity and are feeling down about it, so perhaps they don’t want to hear anything about it for now. Be sympathetic.

The same goes in the opposite situation. Offer congratulations!

For those of you that passed, this is it. Your journey through A-Levels has ended and now you can forget about the whole thing and go home to celebrate. For those that didn’t, here is the next step and what to expect:

2) Letting it all out.

Maybe you need to lock yourself in your room and cry until you can cry no more. Maybe you need to take a long walk to clear your head of any negative feelings and think about your next approach. Maybe you need to go to the gym, or write or talk to someone… Whatever it is. Do it. For now this is all about yourself and letting yourself come to terms with all that’s just happened. Take as much time as you need and, once finished, move on.

3) Clearing options.

Chances are, after results across the UK have been put out, universities are going to need to fill the spaces left on their courses. And this is where they advertise themselves on the clearing sections of UCAS. Look through all of the universities, and see if there are any within your UCAS point score who will take you in. There will be a lot of places with the same course open as your desired field but also keep your options open. Some courses can be rather niche.

If you find somewhere you like dedicate some time to finding out some information about the place and make a short list of all the reasons as to why you want to attend the university/course. And then it’s onto the daunting part: phoning up. After the rejection experienced not long ago it’s going to take a lot of courage to push yourself out there again, but be courageous. Over the phone you’re going to have to sell yourself a bit, so make sure you speak clearly, cohesively and sound enthusiastic. And see what happens… Try this as many times as you wish with as many different places or courses as you want.

If you still can’t find anywhere….

4) Contact schools and colleges and find out what your options are.

The first step would be arranging a meeting with your head of sixth form in order to discuss what your results were and see what needs to improved upon. Perhaps it was the exams, perhaps the coursework. They’ll be able to set a clear idea of what you can do to raise your grade when you come  for another year, including extra-curricular activities that will earn you UCAS points.

If the idea of returning to your college/sixth form seems totally unappealing, take the same approach you just adopted to clearing and contact multiple schools about coming in to study. If a sixth form won’t let you come in, a college most definitely will. And remember, while you are in a desperate situation you still need to choose a place that feels right for you.
And the final step applies for everyone:

5) BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF!!!!

No matter what results you’ve received, and no matter what path you are now travelling down, you should all finally have a clear idea of exactly what your next part of your academic career is going to look like. And you should all be extremely proud of yourself. Those of you moving onto A-Levels and even higher education should be proud of all you’ve achieved. Those of you who are not should be vastly proud of dealing with rejection, staying optimistic and overcoming the toughest adversity you have faced yet. Those are all amazing strengths within yourself to have discovered.

As the next academic year looms ahead, whatever is ahead, of you, you are going to need unlimited determination and focus and ambition. Use the rest of the summer to totally live it up; spend time with family and friends, travel, and just…. Live.

But the  most important thing is to look forward to every single thing that comes your way, because there are going to be so many opportunities to discover exactly who you are, unleash your passions and perhaps just maybe be pleasantly surprised by the experience. And remember that just because you “failed” your grades does not mean that you are failing at life. An education system is never a true reflection of how creative, intelligent, beautiful, incredible people you all are!

“It’s all divine synchronicity”.

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OOTD: What’s Black, White and Blue All Over?

2015, days out, Evie, Evie and Sophie, Fun

Yesterday, we went to our local seaside town for a day out. The weather was gorgeous, as expected when there’s a heatwave on. We spent our time walking down the promenade, playing crazy golf and sipping on cool iced drinks in the brilliant sunshine. Of course, when the weather is warm you have to dress cool, in every sense. These were our outfits.

Sophie’s Outfit:

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Getting this photograph wasn’t easy. The ice cream (as you can see) was melting, and FAST, all over my hand!

Sunglasses: New Look

Top: New Look

Bag: Primark

Skirt: QED London

Shoes: Zara

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Blue is my favourite colour to wear, so of course I was going to wear a pretty blue skirt! It’s a midi skirt, but the materials made it light and comfortable to wear in the scorching heat. It’s also very versatile, I had a barbecue in the evening and just switching out the top and shoes created a whole new outfit.

Evie’s Outfit:

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Sunglasses: River Island

Top: New Look

Bag: River Island

Skort: Topshop

Jewellery: Charity Shop (watch)

Shoes: River Island

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Sometimes, you have to suffer for the sake of fashion. The sandals looked lovely, but were mean to my feet.

Since I live in skinny jeans, getting my legs out is a big deal for me. But, this skort is effortless and perfectly co-ordinates with anything in my wardrobe.

We loved our outfits, they were perfect for the weather however what we learned that day is: wear what you want, but in this sort of heat you must always wear and top up your sunscreen. Burnt shoulders just ruin a look.

For more pictures of our day check out our instagram!

Enough To Make You Weep | A Reply to Gluestick Mum

2015, Film and Theatre, Sophie

Recently Gluestick Mum created a post about movies that made her cry and because I read it I ended up trying to hold in my sobbing as I sat in the university library. While her choices were upsetting and heart-breaking, I thought that there were some movies that were missing. So here is my list, minus the ones that she had already mentioned.

Bambi

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I cry at a lot of movies. And as a kid this was one of the first films I remember crying at, besides Dumbo which turned me into a human fountain. What can I say? Bambis mum gets shot and then Bambi is all scared on his own. I thought it was sad and scary, and so I cried. Though, the Lion King still takes full reign of most saddening Disney death, for sure.

The Hunger Games

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Definitely not the most emotional in this list but there’s a good few moments that make you shed a tear or two. First is the reaping scene where Katniss is taken off and her little sister Prim is just hysterical. I end up thinking about how it would be if it was me as Katniss with my little sister and that tears me up. Then is Rue’s death, even though I saw it coming because I read the book. I have to admit I blubbed. It was all in the detail, about how Rue reminded Katniss of her sister and the salute that ends up causing havoc in Rue’s district in the second movie and more. It’s the little things that make it so heart-wrenching.

Monsters Inc.

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I haven’t seen this movie in a long time despite it being on Netflix, and I don’t remember much of it, but I distinctly remember when Mike and Sully had to put boo back in her room and say goodbye. It was too adorable. Boo called Sully “kitty” as he held her in his fluffy arms for the last time. Just think about how adorable that was. Sure, as a kid, I perhaps didn’t fully understand what it was representative of, but it was still sad even back then.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

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Generally this film isn’t very sad at all. It’s all about heroics and chasing down Benedict Cumberbatch, but there’s that bit where Captain Kirk enters the energy vault to fix the ship to save his crew and ultimately sacrifices himself. He gets radiation poisoning and dies isolated from everyone while Spock comforts him through the glass and they “touch” hands in that ‘live long and prosper’ sign through the glass and in the moment that gesture is extremely touching. You know, in a scene, if Spock is upset then you probably should be too. Kirk lives, hoorah, but that scene is sad.

How I Live Now

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My god this film had me in tears when I first watched it. It’s a dystopian film where World War Three breaks out. You’re following the story of Daisy and with her you watch one friend get shot, which is awful, you find another dead friend among a pile of executed boys which is really upsetting because he was a good kid, and then when she and a girls she’s been protected find the last friend, her boyfriend, alive you’re so relieved you cry. Again, it’s one of those movies that makes me think about what it would be like if I was them.

Stuck In Love

This is a cute film all about love in all it’s different forms and generally the over-all feeling of the film is up-lifting and happy, but it wouldn’t be a good film if it didn’t have anything else in the plot, including sadness. There’s really two points in the film where it’s really sad.

  1. Louis’ mum dies.

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The storyline here isn’t developed much and you only know of it in about two or three scenes in the entire movie, but it doesn’t need lots of attention to be hard-hitting. In fact, you could say that because there wasn’t much attention to it that’s why it hit so hard. It’s the moment where Louis calls Samantha to tell her that his mum died from cancer and over the phone you can hear how upset he is, then you see him and he simply says “my mum is gone” and he looks so lost and upset. Oh how you feel. I think the thing is, no one wants their mum to die, I know I don’t, and that’s why it’s so sad.

2.Kate gets lost and found

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There’s a bit in the movie when Kate, a drug addict, goes missing after having too much champagne at a party. The find her, in some strange motel room passed out on the floor. Rusty, her boyfriend, is cuddling her as they sit in the car on the way to the hospital in a total state. Then he peeks under the blanket and you can just see every piece of him get torn up and you need to try and figure out if it’s relief that she isn’t naked or if he’s upset because she is, then you figure it it must be the latter because you remember that line. “Looking at her hurt”. Again, it’s one of those things you never want to happen whether your partner takes drugs or not.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

perksofbeingawallflower

This is another one of those uplifting films in the list but it was truly sad and poignant and emotional too. Evie and I first saw it when we were fifteen and we came out of the cinema sobbing. Everyone sobbed. First it was the scene where Charlie tells Sam “you’re not small” and kisses her in the most cute way possible because it was a happy kind of tear, but then things escalated, or rather descended, quickly into Charlie’s break-down where he thinks he killed his aunt, and then he’s crying, you’re crying with him, and then there’s a pause where you think he just might kill himself. It’s a beautiful movie through and through, one of my favourites that always makes me emotional.

Les Miserables

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Just. Everything about this movie. I didn’t cry out loud at this movie even though I desperately wanted to, because I was with new friends and I didn’t want to embarrass myself, but wow. I had a constant lump in my throat throughout. So much death. But all so beautifully done. It was especially Anne Hathaways performance, the kid that got shot down and Eponine dying in the arms of Eddie Redmayne as he told her he loved her (but only as a friend) that were the real tear-jerkers but it was all just extremely heavy. The book is heavy too, at a thousand pages.

Moulin Rouge

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I’ve watched this multiple times, every year since I was about seven years old and it makes me sob every time (I’m now 20). Originally Satine’s death, just after the song Come What May where they sing “I will love you until my dying day” was just the thing that created the water-works as Ewan McGregors pain-filled sobs just break my heart into a thousand pieces, but recently I’ve started crying at the point where Christian is jealous of the duke, around the time el Tango del Roxanne comes on. I don’t know what it is that makes me this way without fail, but I think it’s because I hold all the same principles as Christian.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Seeing this in the cinema had me blubbing hysterically all the way through. Other than the fact that it was the last movie to be made ever (discounting Fantastic Beasts) and that that coincides with the end of my childhood there were tonnes of sad moments to weep over.

  1. Snape’s death

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His death is emotional beyond belief. The reason why he died, how Harry was there to see him into the end and that famous line “you have your mothers eyes” and that single tear as he faces the end is too emotional to handle, but even worse is that the tear then unlocks his memories where you learn that he was in love with Lily for years. That bit where he holds her dead body and weeps is unbearable.

2. Fred’s Death

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I hate this part. George almost died in Part 1 to the panic of Fred followed by sheer relief then one movie later Fred dies himself. It’s the scene where the family are in morning and you can see that George has lost an entire half of him with the death of George, and it just causes too many feelings. Evie and I are twins and so seeing this scene strikes a very personal chord that I can’t handle.

3. Lupin & Tonks death.

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It’s that moment where they stretch their hands out for each-other as they prepare defence. It’s the idea that they’re going to be with each other no matter what. It’s seriously under-played in the movie, but if you’ve read the books then you’ll know that Lupin and Tonks die together and that they’ve left an orphan son. It’s a tiny gesture but it means so much!

Titanic

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Oh god, don’t get me started on Titanic. When my friends and saw it in the cinema for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking I cried so much that I had pools in my collar-bones. Again, it’s one of those movies that just gets to you. It’s as people fall to their fate and you think about what their last thought must have been, it’s the children being sang to sleep as the boat sinks (though why they’re not on life-boats is beyond me) and it’s Jack’s death that make it all so weep-worthy. And the fact it’s a true story and that people really died.

The Impossible

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Another true story, based on the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia, that hits you hard. The moment the waves hits the film is an emotional rollercoaster but it’s at its peak in the hospital when they’re SO CLOSE to finding each other and you’re yelling at them to turn around, they do and it’s just so amazing that you cry. There’s more, but that’s really the high-light of the film. And no one in the family dies, which is nice.

The Fault in Our Stars

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Obviously this needs to be in the list because I haven’t met one person who saw this and didn’t cry. John Greens story was a whirlwind of a book and the movie was no better. The scene that particularly struck me was the scene where Augustus Waters gets his friends to read their eulogies to him. It’s quite a raw scene where the character confronts his inevitable death and his best friend and girlfriend are forced to say goodbye. They’re all crying and you are too. Personally I cried more at the book, but the movie did a damn good job of pushing my heart through the paper shredder as well.

Fury

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Fury is mostly action packed and brutal in the most gruesome ways but in the middle of all this action is the short but sweet romance of Norman Ellison and Emma. Some might say that they had only known each other for twenty minutes and couldn’t understand the languages, but if you’re a romantic at heart like me you’d say they had a connection. Norman Ellison tells Emma that she’s going to have one great love in her life as they have an intimate moment alone in Emma’s bedroom, he’s protective of her and there’s a moment where they connect over music and it’s sweet. Only for Emma to die roughly one minute later when the house gets bombed. It’s that “one great love” thing that gets to me, when you realise that Norman must have realised the same thing and that’s why he gets to upset. It’s sad!

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

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I’m not even sure I even need to say which scene it is here, I think we all know. It’s the scene where the boy goes to find his friend only to get caught up in the gas showers at the concentration camp and the boy dies. The dad is running around looking for him and then realises. It’s the sheer desperation, and then loss and that final shot of the chamber doors where everything is still and quiet. Unlike The Impossible and Titanic it’s not a real event, but the holocaust did actually occur and to think that millions of people went through the same emotions is just harrowing. When Evie, myself and our mum saw it in the cinema we sobbed collectively and I don’t think we said one word to each other on the walk home.

Pass me the tissues! There are a lot more films on my cry-list including (500) Days of Summer, Never Let Me Go and One Day which are all very beautiful and moving pieces of cinematography, however, the list above was essentially the most memorable scenes that I cried at. Of course, I left off all the movies that Gluestick Mum mentioned so if you want to see what she had to say then click here. And, if you want, tell me about some of your tear-jerker movies.