‘On results day, I didn’t get the A level results I was expecting. I try not to think about that day too much, everyone else around me getting their results were so happy. I felt like I had plans for my life and this was a big set back. It took me a few days to get myself together and then I started to work out what I was doing.
My first choice university required me to do a foundation year but I hadn’t met their grades. I thought I would have to spend a year re-taking my A levels. But my dream was always to go to University to and get a degree in Politics and International Relations so I called up Kent. I told them ‘these are my grades, what are the options?’
A couple of weeks later I had a place, to study Politics and International Relations on a three year degree course and I actually didn’t visit until it was time to move in! There was no mention of me being a clearing applicant during my study. To be honest, I even forgot I went through clearing!
I am definitely happy with how things turned out. I loved the community. It was so nice being on one big campus rather than scattered over a big city. But also, at my sixth form I don’t think I had the right support -which is why I had struggled with my A level results. I am dyslexic and I had been given extra time in my exams but nothing more. When I got to Kent I told the Student Support and Wellbeing Team that I had dyslexia, and they arranged for me to have a diagnostic assessment to apply for DSA (Disabled Student Allowance). This entitled me to extra time in exams but also support with my coursework. I was assigned a SpLD tutor who would read my drafts before I handed them in, to help with grammar. For example she might say, ‘This sentence isn’t expressing what you mean.’ That’s the thing with dyslexia, you have the knowledge but putting it down on paper can be difficult and she understood that. If I didn’t feel comfortable reading out in class I would e mail my tutors and they would understand. You also get support after you leave with your CV and job applications.
‘I think that if I’d had the support I’d had at Kent when I was at sixth form, my A level results would have been a different story. But then, I wouldn’t have come to Kent!’
My advice for others who are about to receive their A level result would be: whatever you get, don’t be disheartened. Go through the emotions, but then start to figure out what you can do next with your results. Everything always works out.’
Jada Spence graduated with a degree in Politics and International Relations BA (Hons).