Today I received a sweet email from a girl who didn’t do as well as she had hoped she would in the A-levels. It really got me thinking back to when I did my Leaving Cert (which is the Irish equivalent of the A-levels/SAT’s etc) and my own experience of feeling like a failure.
My goal was to attend a 4-year degree course in photography which required that I get certain grades in my exams and I also had to submit a portfolio of my work. My portfolio had been sent in before the exam results came out and I received top marks which really made me think that I had a really good chance of getting into the course I wanted. However, it wasn’t to be.. When I got my results I saw that I had failed one of the core subjects which was maths (always a weak point of mine!) which basically meant that I wouldn’t be going to university.
I was devastated. I cried for a few days and really thought that there was no hope for me ever getting to college. But there are always other options! After I got out of my slump I looked into other courses that didn’t require the same academic standard and found myself in a one-year photography course which was a huge learning experience for me both in and out of the classroom!
I decided after the course had ended that a 4-year full-time degree course just wasn’t for me, and since then I can honestly say that it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. As some of you know, I was recently ‘let-go’ from my job in retail, so it’s not like I’m writing this to you guys from my luxurious penthouse apartment at the top of the fashion industry . But the one thing I can say is that you will always be happy in yourself if you pursue something you love, and have a genuine passion for.