This Thursday will see hundreds of thousands of students across the country receive their A Level results and make important decisions on their next steps. It can be a daunting time whether or not you achieve the grades you were hoping for, with high expectations, choices to make and options to weigh up.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone: lots of other young people are in exactly the same boat, and there is no single right pathway ahead for you or for any of them. No matter what happens this Thursday, you have options! Disappointments can often turn into just the motivation you need to take an exciting opportunity; and if you receive the grades you were aiming for, it doesn’t mean that your future is all laid out and unchangeable. The power is in your hands!

Deciding on next steps can feel daunting, but remember that everyone is in the same situation

To celebrate the choices ahead, we asked three of our apprentices to share their experiences of the build up to results day and what they decided to do next. We’ll be sharing their answers as a series across this results fortnight. First up, read on to hear about how Caxie, Syeda and Aliyah felt as they waited to hear how they had done in their A Levels, and try to relax in the knowledge that no amount of worrying or stress can change anything about this Thursday…

Caxie, Business Administration apprentice at Benchmark Sport

When doing exams, I just do each one and forget about it until the next one comes along because I know I’ve done all I could do and there’s not enough worrying in the world that could change that. When I wasn’t working my shifts at the restaurant, I would catch up with friends over a meal or just have some me time with a film or a book. Yes, results were at the back of my mind but it’s not the end of the world. I think I mostly stayed calm because I had a few friends that were stressed out and over thinking, so I was using more of my energy to keep them from having a mental breakdown. Stay calm, if not for yourself then do it for your loved ones.

Syeda, Business Admin apprentice at CLX Communications

I remember finishing my A-levels at college and enjoying a long summer break. Time flew, and results day wasn’t far away. Day by day, I could feel the anxiety and pressure build up. For myself, I was not actually sure on what I wanted to pursue after college. I applied to university, but I was not certain that I wanted to study for another three years. At the same time I did not find the ‘other option’ appealing, being apprenticeships. Most of the apprenticeships I found online the first time I searched looked very boring, so at that point I actually gave up looking.

Aliyah, Business Admin apprentice at Ashbury Educational Services

In the build up to results day I was quite relaxed, I didn’t really think about it. Until the morning of Friday 15th August. I was getting ready and that’s when it all hit me. I’m going to collect my results. My mind was all over the place, I had butterflies. I’d applied for university, but that wasn’t my only option. I felt a slight pressure that these results had to come out well because the previous year they were terrible and my tutors had high expectations. I received calls and messages from my friends and family wishing me luck. It was a bit overwhelming. I was giving myself a pep talk, saying it’s going to be a good day, I look good, I feel good, the sun is shining, it’s FRIDAY. No matter the outcome, this is something to be proud of and a new journey is only just beginning. And on my way, I listened to my favourite Chris Brown album — that always puts me in a good mood.

Would you like some guidance on what to do next after receiving your results? We’re opening up our doors here at WhiteHat HQ to help you explore your next steps. Sign up here for Beyond the Grades