It might seem like the worst thing ever if you find that you have failed one or more exams. It’ll feel even more wretched if your classmates are celebrating their successes and making plans to head off to the next stage of their lives without a hitch.


You may wonder where your life is going to go now that your carefully considered plans have crashed into a heap because of your exam results. Your chosen university won’t want you? Your career path has suddenly got a ‘road closed’ sign up on it.

Then the papers are full of scare stories about how universities are becoming less and less keen on candidates who passed at resit. After all, one chap had 20 something goes before he got his and, eventually, most of us manage to pass our driving tests in the end.

But that’s the fairly extreme scenario – like many drivers – lots of candidates don’t do as well as they had hoped first time and need another go. But think how much better a driver with lots of lessons will be. Like Robert the Bruce’s spider… if at first you don’t succeed.

Yes, it’s frustrating and time-consuming, but in the long-run it won’t make much difference. In fact, the chance to have another look at what you are doing and why, never does anyone any harm.

What the experience will teach you in terms of the need to apply yourself to what you really want and to deal with the unexpected things life flings at you are far more valuable than the extra study time and hassle you are in for. Believe me.

Many people when choosing between two candidates might prefer the one who dealt with failure by regrouping, having another try and doing even better to the one who sailed through. They will know less about life and themselves.

And, as is becoming increasingly apparent, getting into university is about more than just results. The personal statement is such an important part of the recipe. Here it’s clear colleges are looking for a well-rounded individual who will thrive rather than a robot that can churn out A passes.

Forgive me for sounding like an old hippy, but the plans you first make for your life rarely work out exactly as you have in mind, in fact, what circumstances throw up can offer much more than you’d ever hoped for.

If you need further convincing, Ananyarn tells the inspiring tale of how she turned her ‘failure’ around to be success.



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