The past seventy-two hours has been consumed with discussions, media and posts about A-level results.
Tip-top advice for any A-level student who need to know what to expect next with their achieved results.
But what about us parents? The world seems to discard the anguish and anticipation of what we go through during the lead up and on the day of that all important Thursday during August.
My Wednesday nights sleep was disturbed several times as I lay awake hoping that my son will pass his exams. A last minute change of university meant that he was holding out for clearing at a local university.
I did advise him back in October 2013 to select one university close to home in case he had a change of heart about moving away. As usual, he didn’t listen to me so was left declining all his places and taking his chances in clearing.
I drove him to Sixth Form at 8.00am on Thursday morning and even before we got through the front door I could feel myself getting emotional. I knew I had to keep it together in case the news wasn’t good. Nothing prepares you for that roller-coaster of emotions, it was more nerve-wracking than two months prior when I was waiting to open my results for my Masters degree.
My son’s results were superb but he was a grade away from his first choice of university course. Being adamant that he would resit I left him with his friends and advised him to not completely disregard other courses or universities in the area.
Later in the day he informs me that his chosen university has an even better course that he is interested in and he has the grades to hopefully be offered a place through clearing.
Being laid-back he decides to wait a day to contact them. This is the part that I struggle with. I’m one of these that will get onto things straight away and not chance anything. He’s eighteen though, it’s his future and his life so I had to bite my tongue and offer support when he needed it.
He was offered a place on the course the next day and I was over the moon. The relief I felt was immense as I struggle with anyone having control over members of my family – and yes I know it’s not really strangers having control, but it felt like it.
Again though as a parent you are just thrust into the support role which you have to learn as you go along. Only being able to do so much and hope that your children make the right choices, work hard and succeed in life.
It’s all about the students, quite rightly so but nobody ever asks the parent how they are holding up throughout the stress and strain of exams. For good parents it affects us too so if you’re a young person going through this too – spare a thought for mum and dad.
Last night I logged onto the #scriptchat conversation on twitter and asked the same question to the panel which were @Bang2write and @Julie_Gray. As I anticipated they didn’t favour one over the other, it is entirely a personal choice.
I’m an advocate of education – just as well as I work in a university. Having undertaken many courses over the years to build up my qualifications for work and also as a personal goal. I’m a firm believer that it’s important to have qualifications, but just as important to have relevant experience, skills and knowledge.
I was a late starter when I undertook my degree. It was something that niggled me throughout my twenties as there were many jobs in the public sector that looked like something I could do, but the person specification always requested “educated to degree level”. Early 2005 I did a magazine journalism course, which followed by me signing up for a degree at the Open University.
After I graduated in 2009 I had a burning ambition to then study for a masters, but I was adamant that it would be in something that I felt passionate about. Scriptwriting ticked both those boxes, so I was ecstatic to be offered a place on the course.
Now I am at the end of the postgraduate diploma part of the course, I must admit that although I could have just bought a lot of books about scriptwriting, and if it works for people then that will save them a heap of cash. However, for me attending a class every week, listening to lectures, masterclasses and then receiving feedback from my peers has been invaluable.
I have experienced aspects that I never would have if I was self-taught. The best experience was during my radio drama module where I was present at the drama being recorded in a radio studio with a group of talented performance students. Hearing your words and characters come to life is really valuable. With the medium of radio too, it is easy to spot mistakes that have been made with the script which don’t work in an audible medium.
Being part of a small community of like-minded individuals has kept me motivated during some difficult times over the two years. There are times when you wonder whether you can actually do this, especially when those rejection emails come from the writers room and other script calls. Personally without my class mates I’m not sure I would have got to the end of the course,and I’m hoping that my dissertation will give me the calling card I need.
I know other writers through twitter who were entirely self-taught, and this goes to show that it is a personal preference. I absorb information if I can hear somebody talk, and for me to take notes. But, it’s also reassuring for any future writers that there are a lot of very good text-books out there that can do the trick as well.
How about yourself? Do you favour education or think that self-taught is just as effective.
This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of June.