Happy New Year! 2021, maybe a time to finish that UCAS if you haven’t already and hopefully start receiving some offers. If you haven’t received any, don’t worry, there’s some tips for that later on in the blog. I’ll also talk a bit about the very recent situation, which has caused quite a bit of confusion, the cancellation of GCSEs and A-Levels.
The likelihood is that your uni application is done and dusted. In which case… well done! The UCAS process is hard work, let alone doing it during a global pandemic. Put on top of that all the frustrations caused by multiple lockdowns and you’ve definitely got something to be proud of.
I’m sure you get told time and time again, but it has been a mentally and emotionally challenging time so being proud of what you have achieved so far, however small, is the least you can do for yourself. Yes, Shakespeare wrote an entire play during his lockdown in the plague, but, unfortunately, we can’t all be a world famous playwright… so writing a personal statement and sending it off to universities is a perfectly good achievement.
If you haven’t completed (paid and sent) yet, UCAS have extended the deadline to Friday 29th January - so you better get going! If you are struggling there are plenty of resources that may be of help on the UCAS website and my previous blog. It’s not too late to start now. If you are doubting how Covid will impact university learning and student life, a very valid concern, perhaps try to email your intended universities to see what policies they have and will put in place. There’s no harm doing extra research and showing your interest in future study.
Now, to those who have sent off their UCAS and are receiving (or waiting to receive) offers. Bear in mind that different universities and course departments accept and reject offers at different times, especially with the pandemic and UCAS extending the deadline, so offers may arrive later than expected. Now, more than ever, it’s important to not compare yourself to others. Since your application has been sent off already, there is nothing more you can change about it, so no point in worrying about it. The best thing you can do is try to focus on your work at the moment and your grades.
And, finally, the news we received earlier on in the month that may or may not have just changed what we have been working towards for two years: the cancellation of GCSEs and A-levels. First of all, it’s important to note that the work you have put in across your course (the class interactions, the practise questions, the essays) will not have gone to waste! If anything, these will help boost the Teacher Assessed Grade which has taken the place of the final, summer exams.
If you need some more reassurance, check out my short vlog, but please don’t panic! You can only focus on the work you put in now, and your teachers will probably give you a chance to sit some form of assessment in the coming weeks to help inform their decisions about your grade.
It’s ok to feel unmotivated staring at a screen for over six hours in your bedroom, almost any human would! Just try to keep in mind why you chose the subjects that you’re studying, focusing more on enjoying the content- maybe even with less stress since there are no final exams.
Where you can, and if it works for you, there’s no harm in calling a friend to work together or discuss a topic. It really is an unfortunate and frustrating situation, but in order for things to return back to a somewhat normal, it’s important to stay home and stay safe. Try to keep calm and focused, concentrating on your mental and physical wellbeing too!
ANISHA MINOCHA is a sixth form student from Manchester, hoping to study English Literature and Spanish at university. She is a passionate writer and poet whose work has been published in anthologies, magazines, blogs and won competitions. Contributing to Sink Magazine, she is keen to utilize the voice of young people and share work through her creative writing blog. As a climate activist, she has combined her love for words and the planet in a performance of spoken word at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 'Letters to the Earth'. She also co-runs Young Friends of the Earth: Manchester and has organised workshops, participated in panels and spoken at Manchester Cathedral.
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