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Iceni Magazine | August 13, 2022

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Not passing doesn’t mean you’re a failure

Not passing doesn't mean you're a failure

A Level results are have just come out and many young people are tensely awaiting to see what choices are available for them, will go to university or are they a failure even at this early stage in life?

There are several things to reflect on at this momentous time of the school year:

– No-one’s defined by their exam results. Failure happens when you fall and refuse to get up again. When you were first learning to walk you’d have fallen over numerous times, but persevered and are now able to walk and even run. A successful life is about taking knocks and treating them as lessons, a guide to trying different directions that are better suited to you and where you want to go

– Studying and passing exams occupies a lot of time, thought and energy but how much of that was a conscious choice? Many young people live on auto-pilot, unsure as to what they ultimately want to do. University is often the focus and whilst university can be seen as a rite of passage it’s not the only option or even the best one for everyone. Studying something you’re uncertain about, may never use, whilst running up massive amounts of debt may be an unnecessary pressure.

Taking a gap year to consider your thoughts and dreams can be a viable use of time and teach important life skills along the way. Or perhaps going to college to learn a skill or trade, or joining an apprenticeship scheme. Undertaking education in a more ‘hands on’, less academic way may be more relevant for you. You can identify your specific talents and skill sets whilst experiencing a real work situation.

– Find someone to talk things through with. If you can’t or won’t talk to parents or family find a mentor, teacher or peer group where you feel comfortable discussing your fears, concerns and emotions. Keep those channels of communication open whilst you listen, share and learn.

– Consider other options, no matter how unlikely they seem. Investigate career fairs, recruitment drives and see what’s available, what appeals. Investigate other routes and career paths.

Not going to university may initially feel like a failure but remember those super-successful people who didn’t complete their further education. Not going may be a blessing in disguise. Another door could open which offers a route to a satisfying career, starting your own business or following a path you never would have previously considered.

Article By Susan Leigh

Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor. She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon. To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit


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