Here we go then, results.

I’ve received a lot of results myself recently – the result of my degree, the outcome of my masters application and i’m still waiting for some results for scholarships and funding for next year. So I understand how everyone feels at the moment what with your A Level results just around the corner! There’s a fortnight to go right? Time flies doesn’t it, I’m sure you remember your first day at high school and now you’ve finished!! Scary isn’t it

I’m lucky, i received a merit award aftersitting the exam papers for the entrance scholarships here at Aberystwyth University. And so I got an unconditional offer but it was still important for me to try my best and I still worried about my results as everyone else did. Worrying is natural but it is important not to worry too much about results as it is does nothing to help! It’s too late for you to be able to do anything about it now anyway so the best thing to do is prepare yourself for the results you want and those you do not want. Consider the two scenarios!

GOOD – Have received the ideal number of UCAS points, need to confirm my place.
BAD – Did not receive the ideal number of UCAS points, need to go through the Clearing process.

It’s as simple as that at the end of the day!

I know you do not want to think the worst but think of it this way: if you’ve thought about it and the worst happens then you know what to do!

First of all if the ‘worst’ happens then it’s not that bad at all! There are PLENTY of options available for you. I was reading an article recently about the A Level results http://www.channel4.com/news/missed-out-on-the-a-level-results-you-wanted-so-did-they

“Missing the A-levels grades might feel like the end of the world. But for many, it is the just the start of theirs.”

I remember seeing the faces of some of my friends who did not recieve their ideal results on the 18 August 2011, but by today all of them have graduated with at least a 2:1 if not first class honours! Which is evidence that the above quote is true. So take a deep breath, try not to worry too much and enjoy the rest of your summer holidays!!

There is information on our website about the Clearing process so go to the link below for more information on how to go about it etc.

http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ucasclearing2014/ucas-clearing-2014-results-day/

GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL IN THE FUTURE!

And i might see some of you here in September.

Wooooooo 🙂

I’m sure many of you are currently waiting on the results of A-Levels and other examinations. I’m also quite sure many of you will be feeling apprehensive about this. I’m sure that apprehension is not being helped by the well meaning, but utterly unhelpful mantra of parents/ teachers/ friends/ family, which as I recall goes something like: “Once you get your results you will be able to go to University and have a good and decent life of purpose and academic pursuits. And stuff.”  I’m sure you are also having the dreams. The “failed everything” dreams. Possibly the “naked and failed everything” dreams.

Well, in the words of Douglas Adams “DON’T PANIC” Let your parents etc. do that. There is nothing you can do about it now and I will let you into a little secret: If you fail your exams, you will not be put to death. You can retake them. It requires a bit of character to pick yourself up and go back a step and no one will think any less of you for it.

The main worry for most people is that if their grades are not as predicted then they won’t be able to go to University. WRONG! That’s what clearing is all about. If your grades don’t come in as you want, ring your University of choice and explain what has happened. Don’t make excuses. Don’t get your mum to call them, do it yourself. Ask what options you have. You may be surprised.

I am sincerely hoping that none of you will be in that situation.

Now a question that isn’t often asked or discussed is “What if my grades are better than predicted.” If you suddenly find yourself holding four A grades when you were expecting a B and three Cs the same applies. Take a deep breath and call those people. It may well be that you can now do the course you didn’t think you’d got the grades for.

Twenty-Ish years ago I was waiting for my results. It wasn’t as critical for me because I had unconditional offers. But I was still nervous. There was still that “what if?” question. Well one thing I’ve learned, and not from exam results, is that “what if?” gets you nowhere. What If? Keeps you awake at night and gives you nothing in return. “What Next?” however, is full of possibility. No matter what grades you get on results day, ask yourself “what next?” If you do that you will keep moving forward and that’s a real result.

Good luck to you all. You are all brilliant!

Yep, we were that cool!

Last week was all about the Graduations. Both Aberystwyth and Keele have proudly sent another cohort of Sons and Daughters out into the world. The ceremonies are steeped in traditions going back centuries. Your name will be called and you go up and shake the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor’s hand. For certain degrees you get doffed on the head with a Mortarboard. There will be speeches. The degree congregation will be dismissed and once you leave the doors of the Great Hall at Aber or the Chapel at Keele you will have made the transition from student to graduate and joined the ranks of all the alumni before you and all those to come.

So back to the speeches. Someone important usually stands up and gives a speech. (The mentioning of Sunscreen is optional.) So. If I was ever important enough to be standing in front of the degree congregation at either of my Universities what would my speech be?

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of (insert date here) congratulations. You made it. You survived all the exams, essays, drunken parties, early morning fire alarms and suspiciously cheap fried chicken we could throw at you. Today you leave the University and go out into the world. A world that is now yours to make. A world that is huge and infinite and will make this place look very tiny in a short number of years. There are so many possibilities in your future that it would be impossible to advise you about them all. And so I will give you three simple pieces of advice on your graduation day. Take them with you, wherever you go, on whichever path you choose to take.

1) Remember yourself now. And never forget who you are on this day. There may come a time when you have to make difficult choices, and you only need to ask yourself “Could I look myself in the eye on my graduation day, and explain what I am about to do without feeling I had let the person that I used to be down?” If the answer is yes, then the choice is the right one.

2) Look around you. You are surrounded by people from all over the world. From all kinds of backgrounds. All colours. All ages. All faiths. All sexualities. All these divisions are gone. They are insignificant in the face of the what you have, all of you, achieved.  Never forget when you stood side by side with your fellow graduates, all wearing the hood of the university, all other differences swallowed whole by something much bigger.

3) It is never too late to make a difference. To yourself. To others. To the world. The slightest thing can make the biggest difference. A small pebble thrown in a pool has far reaching ripples. If you get to a point where you think you are too old, that you have run out of ideas or you have outlived your usefulness, I refer you to point one. If you ever think that about anyone else I refer you to point two.

All of you, go and live amazing lives. Be brilliant. Be bright and shiny. Keep your eyes on the stars and your head held high. Today you take your place in immortality. Your name is now woven into the story of your university and you now write the next chapter.  We all become stories in the end, make sure yours is a good one.”

(I’d probably mention something about the Leopards as well, because whilst this is a serious university and graduation is a serious thing, I’m not!)

With graduation ceremonies already started at some universities and soon to start here at Aberystwyth, everyone is asking, “so, what are you doing next year?” With graduation signalling an end to our time to many of us at university we must now learn to live outside the University bubble. So what’s next for the graduates of 2014? Masters? Travelling? Or for many of us… Work.

At the end of the day many of us if not everyone has come to university to have a great time but also to earn qualifications that will help us find employment at the end of our era as students. But where are these jobs hiding? It’s important to look in every corner for these jobs. From newspapers to websites as Twitter. There are jobs everywhere! A great site for jobs for graduates is Go Wales, even if it’s just a job for ten weeks, then at least you’ve got your foot in the door.

Maybe some of you have already started filling out job application forms and tidying the all-important CV, but it’s not always an easy task. For every job you must change and check your CV for the requirements of the job in mind, and that can be a boring job if you’ve already applied for a lot of jobs already. But it’s a job that has to be done, with care, because you never know when the call for an interview will come.

But even after that call, all is not straight forward. You must prepare, read over the job description, a seriously think how you are going to sell yourself, and it’s a lot harder than you think to brag about yourself. Preparing yourself for an interview is like preparing a cow for a show, and hoping that the cow will show herself to her best potential on that day. And the hope for everyone at the end is to find that dream job.

So, when the question comes, “what will you be doing next year?” Hopefully everyone will have their answer soon.

Wednesday’s Open Day was a fantastic day for me – if you came up to Aber, I hope you had a great time seeing it all and got all the information you wanted.

I was so pleased that the sun stayed out for the open day, as Aber really looks its best in the sunshine. On both Open Days I came to it was cloudy and grey – when I went on campus tours, the guides told us ‘There is usually a great view from here, honestly!’ – all we got to see was fog!

Open days as a settled student also offer excellent people-watching opportunities. What really struck me quite frequently yesterday was how fast time goes – even when you are paying attention. It seems like both a lifetime ago and yet somehow only a little while since my parents brought me to Aber for open days. I don’t know how those feelings happen simultaneously, but time is a strange thing! Looking at the faces of nervous prospective students I was thinking – any of these could be wearing one of the fetching yellow t-shirts I’m in in a few years. The feeling of the campus brought to life for a day in the usually quiet summertime was a great forecast for your time at Uni – because it won’t always be that busy, but it will be that alive and exciting. Aberystwyth has a wonderful beating heart made up of the people that come here – it is such an exciting thing to be one of them.

To see some more of the Open Day, check out the @AberUni_UG twitter account – including some fab pictures!

There it is, another open day gone by. And a very busy day at that! People from all over came to Aberystwyth yesterday and it was lovely seeing the sun shining on our lovely visitors. To everyone who came yesterday I’m sure you saw our student ambassadors in bright yellow t shirts all over campus. Why where we here I hear you ask? To help you, in every aspect of your experience on our open day. From welcoming you to the university, to giving directions to the information fair and talks all over campus, to helping you find a tasty lunch.

If you came on our open day I hope you enjoyed yourself.  But what about our experience as student ambassadors? … It was a GREAT experience! Getting up and reaching the university much earlier than usual was certainly worth the effort! I started my day through directing new arrivals to the main entrance in the Art’s Centre or directing them to some of the early talks such as some by the Geography Department. Everything was in full swing and it was only early morning. 

Dr Robin Chapman giving a talk in the Welsh Department
Dr Robin Chapman giving a talk in the Welsh Department

My next duty, and one of my best was conducting the campus tours, to every corner of the campus. It was nice being able to take them on a tour and show them everything that is here for them, from the sports centre, to the academic departments, to the library, the union and some accommodation, but most than all showing them how accessible everything is here in Aberystwyth since everything is within walking distance.

The rest of my day was a mixture of helping out on the help desk in the Art’s Centre, more campus tours, and meeting and greeting our visitors. Campus tours wasn’t the only tour available, there was also a bus tour of the town to help you get to know Aberystwyth a little bit better. It was a long day but I enjoyed every second, and what better way to end the day than relaxing and looking out on this fabulous view.

It was a pleasure to meet so many new faces and all of them interested of coming to Aberystwyth in the near future. If you weren’t able to come yesterday, then don’t worry, we the student ambassadors will still be here for the next open day which is being held on Saturday the 13th of September. I hope to see you there.

Also, if you want to catch a taste of our visitors experience on our open day take a look at our twitter account  https://twitter.com/AberUni_UG .