Last post before September.

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Hello everyone,

I hope your weekend went well, and you didn’t all melt in the ridiculous heat that we had on Saturday.

We had some wonderful news last week when we learned that my eldest daughter will be Graduating from Cardiff University with a  2nd Class honours degree (2:1) in Translation.  She has worked very hard for it and really deserves this.

This month is the beginning of my mad summer, so it makes sense to stop the blog here and to take a break as I am unlikely to get time to do any research never mind write the blog posts itself.

The more astute amongst you will also realise that I haven’t had the time to edit my last podcast episode so the decision to stop when I did was the right one.  Again that may start up again in September but it really depends on what happens in between.

I said before that when I can I shall share pictures here of the Graduation and a few weeks later of her Wedding, if I can.  If not just remember I am having a FUN if manic summer!!

To all those who have just taken your A levels, remember this, my daughter missed her grade by one mark and didn’t get into the University she wanted to (to study German).  Having gone through clearing, she decided that there was nothing at Leeds or anywhere else at the time that she wanted to do.   So she took herself off, printed out her CV and the day after A level results came out, she hit the local high street and delivered her CV to everywhere, and registered with ElevateElevate put her into contact with a local leisure centre and she was told if she could pass the weeks test she would be given a job as a lifeguard.

My daughter is a Scout (now Leader), a qualified BCU coach, and at the time was an avid swimmer, taking part in competitions etc.  She jumped at the idea of a course and consequently became a lifeguard for her enforced ‘gap’ year.

When she was asked later in the year if she would like to move to Wales with her boyfriend, she jumped at the chance.  Cardiff University was the closest university to where she was going to be living so, she got back online and went through all the courses that Cardiff offered.   She had originally wanted to go to Leeds to study German, however in order to convert that into a degree in translation (which is what she wanted to do) she would have had to do three years of German, and then an extra year to convert her German degree into a Translation one.  Then began the looking at Cardiff University, and she was pleased to discover that they offered a 3 year course in Translation leading to a degree in that subject.

My daughter applied to Cardiff for this course, and was a day after the deadline.  However the advantage she had was she already knew her A level results and therefore there was no, conditional or unconditional offer.  She was offered a place on her A level results alone, that September.

So if you don’t get the grades you want, or where you want to go, just remember that sometimes if you go out to work for a year it might help you to gain a place elsewhere.  It is not the end of the world.  It might feel like it at the moment, but don’t push for clearing if there is nothing there that is really what you want to study, you are better off waiting and looking around at what is available once you have your A level results, because then you will know immediately if you will be accepted or not, and can apply for the most relevant course for you.

Of course you’re upset, because you have put your heart and soul into your A levels to get the results you needed to go to where you want to go.  However if it doesn’t work out, there are other ways of doing things.

Due to health issues my daughter also had to retake a year because she missed so much, and the result is still a Second Class Honours Degree in Translation.

Remember, over a third of first year Uni students drop out because they can’t deal with it not being like school and living on their own. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, perhaps you’re not ready.  Leave it a year or more and see how you feel.

I never got a degree or went to University, although I did pass the Open Universities Arts Foundation Course. Which I took at the age of 26, with no A levels either.  I am also a qualified Massage Therapist, having taken an Exam in Anatomy and Physiology, a separate one in Massage, and a Qualified Baby Massage instructor.   My qualification allows me to use these letters after my name, ITEC dip. I don’t unless I’m really upset about something!

My husband didn’t start his degree until he was in his late twenties either.  It took him a long time but he holds an MSc in Operations Management.   You do not have to do the traditional route to get a degree, and please don’t do it just because everyone else is.  Discover what you want to do first and then find a degree, that way you’ll be much happier.

If you’re happy being a cashier at Tesco, then don’t let anyone tell you that it’s beneath you.  It’s not, if it’s what you enjoy you’ll stick at it, if not, then you’ll move on.  University is not the only way to achieve things, and I wish more Schools would tell their students this, as not everyone is academic in the same way.

I have a daughter who is very academic and has proved it to everybody. Equally I have a daughter who is very practically minded, and loves theatre.  To her, taking exams is a waste of time, she’d rather be doing something than gaining bits of paper.  She has just won herself a place at College in September through a round of Auditions and it is one of only 15 places available.

My youngest daughter is 20, she left college (as A levels at School was the wrong setting for her) with a BTEC level 3 extended Diploma in Health and Social Care, with a Distinction, and found herself a job within a private nursing home as a Health Care Assistant  She finished College at the the age of 18 and has been out at work ever since.  She is more qualified than most of the other Carers at the Care Home, but there is no substitute for experience.  My daughter loves her job and all the residents, it’s a job I couldn’t do, but it’s what she chose, and her qualification is equivalent to 3 A levels.  However this is not really where her heart is, her heart is in Musical Theatre and that is what she has wanted to do for a long time, so when she found this College she said what do I do?  I told her she was only 19 and if she didn’t try then she would kick herself for the rest of her life.  This girl sailed through all the auditions in one day, and came out at the end with one of the 15 places.

I’m as proud of her for doing that and following her dreams, as I am of my other daughter for gaining an honours degree at University. My girls are two very different people with different ways of getting to where they want to be.

Many of my eldest daughters friends and my eldest daughter herself have all said to me they wish they had gone to College instead of staying on at School as it prepares you much better for University, and self study.

Do not define your children by what you want them to do, it’s not fair on them.  They are not you.

Be pleased with whatever grades you get and find other ways to do things.  Most Colleges will give you tuition in English and Maths, and get you through retakes of GCSE’s of those subjects if you need to.

You can retrain whenever you want.

I left School and went to work for the Library service as a library assistant, which is a very good grounding for office work.  Fast forward a few years to after my children were born, and I retrained as a Mobile Massage Therapist. I ran my own business successfully for 6 years.  After I folded that up, due to the Credit Crunch, I had already found myself a job as a School Crossing Patroller (Lollipop Lady) which was a job I adored. It fitted in with School hours for the Children and left me the daytime free to do other things.  As you will have read, if you look at my Welcome Page above, I was there for 10 years, and unfortunately in 2017 the Council made the decision to cut the service and so I was one of the first round of redundancies.

It was sad, but on the other hand they actually made a very hard decision for me much easier.  I had already begun thinking about what I was going to do next.  The children didn’t need me around so much, as both of them had left School and I was getting fed up with the afternoon shift, as it cut into my day, right when I didn’t need it to.  As it happened the decision was made for me, and here I am writing this blog as a consequence!!

The World is a big place, don’t be pushed into something you don’t want to do, have a discussion with your parents and politely remind them that they are not you, and that it isn’t fair to push their wants onto you.   After all most of you will be 18 fairly soon, if you’re not already, and as such are no longer a minor, you are now an adult.

Both my husband and I have always thought this, that you need to treat your children as individuals, and just because one can do one thing it doesn’t necessarily follow that the other will.  They are people in their own right with their own hopes and dreams, and now is when they need you to support them the most, as the world is a scary place for some.  Know what their hopes and dreams are, encourage where possible, but never lose sight of the fact that they are not you.

By the way, I still haven’t figured out what I want to do when I grow up either!

Kaye x



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