Wild and Wandering Thoughts of a frizz-laden loon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You can't always have what you want.

I would have loved to be able to break my blog-drought with a celebratory post about getting into Cardiff, but sadly, I can't. It was always a possibility that I wouldn't get in, and I had plans and preparations just in case I didn't, but I still took the blow rather hard.

It started out quite hopeful; I logged into UCAS in the morning to see that Lancaster, my insurance, had given me an unconditional offer, whereas Cardiff hadn't updated at all. I therefore filled my phone with credit and headed out to school, rehearsing my battle plan.

It was fairly clear, once I'd opened my results envelope, what the hiccup was:

English Lit. - A
Politics - A
German - C

German, German, bloody German; always the one that gets me. I re-took an entire AS in German in Year 13, taking up a ridiculous amount of time and stressing me to the bone, and I STILL got a C! Granted, the marks for the modules were higher than before, but not high enough.

So, still very calm, pro-active (if annoyed), I got on the phone and faced about an hour of various engaged lines at Cardiff; finally getting through to the Philosophy admissions tutor, only for my phone to lose signal and die on me, mid-sentence.

(I may have broken down a little, at this point; he'd been saying that there were no places left in English Lit. or Philosophy, and that plus the phone was making me realise the growing reality of the whole thing.)

Nevertheless, I kept trying; eventually got through to him again and had a discussion about grades. He was actually rather sympathetic; he acknowledged that I had the right skills for the course, it was just the C in German letting me down. As it always seems to. I asked about Politics (because Politics was always a back-up plan I'd envisioned), and he re-directed me to the Politics admission tutor; another wonderfully sympathetic man who actually seemed to listen to what I was saying.

Despite all this...well. The best he could really offer me was a deferred entry for 2010 to study Politics. He told me to think about it, talk to my family, then call back in a couple of days with my response, which I will do. I was tempted, and still am, but ultimately, I'd rather not have another year stuck in the same place, and the whole process sounds like a bit of a mess. Plus, the change of course, however good the course may be, is a little sudden for my liking.

I think it was at this point, it began to sink in that, even if Cardiff was going to happen, it would be a ridiculously complex business. I broke my cardinal rule rather spectacularly, then, and cried non-stop for about two hours. It was highly embarassing, but everyone was absolutely lovely; giving me hugs, and advice, and perspective on all kinds of options; both my teachers, and my friends. And my parents were lovely about it, as they always are; congratulating me on the As, and telling me it was my decision, what I did.

I felt lousy for the rest of the afternoon, and still do, to a certain degree, but...I think I'm mellowing out. I didn't get what I wanted; and I REALLY wanted it, if my reaction is anything to go by. I realise now that I was leaning far too heavily on Cardiff, and didn't consider the alternatives quite far enough. But...at least I have alternatives. Perhaps Lancaster isn't as high-profile, as dynamic, as Cardiff; but the university is brilliant, and when you're a student, you make things happen to your own tune. It's one of the perfect things about getting older; the world, once you leave home, is your oyster; if only for a while.

So, yes; I'm disappointed. I'm still upset; I'm sure I've got a year's worth of tears in me, still. There are lots of opportunities I've missed out on, by not going there, but on the other side? There are so many things I'm yet to do, that I'll be able to do once I leave here; I know absolutely no-one who's going to Lancaster, which'll, however bizarre it sounds, be brilliant; I can start over, immerse myself in new people, new places, a new life.

I was a complete mess, earlier, but I'm feeling so much more magnanimous than I was before; talking to my Dad and having a picnic with my friends helped.

You can't always get you want, but I'll still be able to pack my room up into cardboard boxes, to make new friends, join new societies, build a whole new life for my own. It's brilliant, and whenever I get down about not getting in Cardiff, I'll come back and look at this post, and remember that, really, I'm so lucky to have what I already have.

Whatever may happen, I'm ready for it!

(Also, German? Pfft. Won't need that at all for my degree!)

Labels: ,


  • I really hope you have a fab time in Lancaster (or indeed wherever you ultimately end up -- I do know people who change universities after a term/semester or year! Nothing is ever that fixed -- but I just want to congratulate you on your A grade (wow) and say good luck.

    I'm sorry you missed out on Cardiff but you are utterly right and I think your rollercoaster of emotions has been utterly reasonable and understandable. Have a great remainder of the summer and I hope planning for what is nest goes a little more smoothly than today. xxx

    By Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg, at 12:49 PM  

  • First off, congrats on your A Level results. Huge achievement even if you are disappointed with your German C. For what it's worth, I had the same problem with French (-:. I understand all about that disappointment too - got a B for English which took me an absurdly long time to recover from. I also failed to get into Oxford (disappointed but not heartbroken), then York rejected me (absolutely heartbroken), but ended up at 3rd choice Liverpool which I LOVED, and where I met my husband. Am a great believer in things happening for a reason. Am sure you'll have a fantastic time at Lancaster, make great friends, end up with wonderful memories. You can always apply for a job on Dr Who when you finish (-:
    Remember, though, you have got 3 A Levels. It's a huge achievement and not many people can do that. Trouble is when you're ambitious and want to succeed, not quite doing as well as you want feels like failure. It ain't. When I was at school we used to have a saying, Aim for the stars and you might hit a tree, aim for a tree and you'll hit the ground. The tree may take you in a different direction then you'd hoped, but I'm sure the journey will be fascinating. Best of luck, however it pans out. And don't stop blogging, whatever you do!

    By Blogger Jane Henry, at 4:44 AM  

  • Everything they said and more. You've done brilliantly. And it's actually very hard to tell what uni will be like just from the open day, as it's so much about the friends you make there. So enjoy your summer and GOOD LUCK!!

    By Blogger Marie, at 2:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home