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A Level Results Day: congratulations from your NUS President

Wednesday 16 August 2017 NUS News

As hundreds of thousands of students receive their final A Level grades on Thursday 17 August, Shakira Martin shares her well wishes and to remind you that your national union is here to support you in your next steps in education.


The greatly anticipated results day is finally upon us. Massive congratulations to all who have got into their university of choice, it is about to be an exciting end to the summer planning your next steps into higher education (after the celebrations of course).

You may be over the moon about the prospect of moving away from home and IKEA flatpacks are all you can think about or it’s now all starting to feel quite daunting and unfamiliar.

Among the upheaval of the next few weeks there’s one thing to remember; these next steps will some of the most exciting times of your life. You’ve made it and universities are vibrant and friendly places – there’s something for everyone and you’ll often realise your true potential away from the classroom.

That’s where students’ unions play a key role – they’ll provide opportunities to get involved in groups, sports clubs or societies about things your passionate about or maybe never even knew existed! Don’t fear if none of this comes to you in your first term, I speak to students all the time who say it took a while to find their feet, the important thing is to relax and enjoy yourself, and you’ve got some time to find what makes you tick.

As many of you will know, I didn’t go to university, but money management is key regardless of whether you’re a first year university student or a first time mum. Either way, you learn very quickly that things like toilet paper, butter and cooking oil are all essential items you took for granted until now. Take it from me, you must be sparing with all three!

All jokes aside, as a first year the prospect of managing your own finances is a scary one, there’s a lot to consider especially if you’re going to live in halls or rented accommodation. But NUS’ and students’ unions work isn’t just felt with the campaigns or the clubs, we also work tirelessly to get the best deal for students. Our NUS Extra card brings you over 200 student discounts on anything from food or fitness to travel and fashion; making your time studying (usually on a tight budget) noticeably easier. You can check out all the savings you’ll have access to here.

Before your first day of term, give @NUSUK a follow on Twitter as well to keep up with our events, campaigns and activities throughout the year. It’s a great way to see how you can get involved on and off campus.

Last but not least, for anyone that who didn’t get the grades you were expecting, you are not alone and not getting the grades you hoped for will not determine your future. You should check UCAS track for unfilled places on courses and enter clearing where your grades will be considered at other universities across the country. There are many alternatives to university altogether and I know first-hand that further education and apprenticeships have a lot to offer.

So whatever the result today – be confident in knowing you have choices and NUS is here to support your future. Whatever that may look like.