/ lifehacks

GCSE Results - Choose Your Own Adventure

Across the UK there are many students waking up and receiving their GCSE results, for those outside of the UK they are high school / secondary education exam results.
I wish everyone the best of luck with their results.

So how did I do in my GCSEs?

Long story short, it wasn't good. Back then I was never academic, I merely existed in school. If something interested me then I would learn and enjoy the process, but often I just did what I had to do. My GCSE results were poor but good enough to go to college. Alas my college days were short as my mother fell ill and I became her carer while working part time to pay the rent.

So was it the end of the world?

Well no, GCSE results day is a day of joy and despair. There are those who will receive great grades, well done! But there will be those who fail to get what they want, but this does not mean the end of your life!
Right now it may seem like you have failed, but this is one moment in an entire lifetime.
You will do so much in your life and you will encounter people and circumstances which will change your views and your life.

An example

So I did bad in my GCSEs, had to leave college to be a carer, worked in a shop for many years and you could assume that my life was over right? Working class lad who scrapes a living together and just gets on with it?
Well yeah for some time this was my life, what changed my life wasn't my education, rather what I learnt in the years after formal education.

Everyday is a school day!

Lifelong learning

After school I went through a few jobs, but I was constantly learning new skills.

  • ITIL Incident Management
  • PRINCE2 Project Management
  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript (in Notepad on a Windows XP machine at work)
  • Designing training courses for new staff members
  • Managing 50+ system interfaces for Government IT systems
  • Business Analysis and requirement mapping
  • Learnt to code in Python, C, Node-RED, JavaScript, Ruby and BASH

All of these skills I had never heard of in school. I learnt all of this in my 20s and 30s.

Right now I want to learn new skills for my work and personal interest.

  • Sewing
  • Welding
  • Working with Neon lights

Your life is an adventure

This was my favourite choose your own adventure book
In the 80s I read a lot of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. If you haven't heard of these they are books which are not read cover to cover, rather we move from page to page based on our choices in the book. If you wish to turn left, go to page 4, else go to page 7.

Hmmm, they use a conditional statement...

if left:
    print("Go to page 4")
    print("Go to page 7")

Your life is an adventure, your choices determine the story. You can choose to make the most of your life and go off on adventures and learn more about yourself and what you want to do.

Failure IS an option!

My personal mantra / belief is that there is no true failure unless you give up. Failure is something that helps us to learn we just need to keep positive when failure occurs. Celebrate failure!

F irst (Further)

A ttempt

I n

L earning

If you FAIL then what happened? What caused the failure? How can you prevent or reduce the chances of it happening again? Repeat this until you are satisfied. I would rather hire a failure who followed this process than someone who is overconfident and lacks the skills to accept they were wrong.

The FAIL mantra is an essential skill for software testing as you will see lots of failures when writing code.

So where am I going with this?

Right now your grades will mean everything to you, and everyone has worked hard to do the best that they can. Well done, no matter what grades you have achieved.
But do not despair if you did not achieve what you were expecting, because this is only the beginning of your adventure. It may take a little longer, need a little more work, but never give up, keep FAILing and never stop learning.

Did you like what you read? Thanks!

If you can buy me a cup of coffee that would be great, but if you cannot do that, no problem, just say thanks on Twitter. :)