At the same time as one journey begins for some another journey comes to an end. The GCSE results have been out over the summer (this makes me feel ancient) and the one question kids are asking their mates is "what grades did you get"? Now if you're a high flyer going for A levels then Oxford that's great. But what if your best mate isn't that academic and your life journeys are about to split. This is what a school won't teach you - making the best of what you have.
In my day the GCSE's were graded A*- C for a recognised pass. This would guarantee a place on your next educational course. I wasn't a high flyer and came away from school with a minimal education. I knew I was more of an active guy than an academic one anyway and didn't take kindly to sitting at another desk for a few years. I wanted my career to be exciting and didn't follow the rest to sixth form. I only had a passion for food and wanted to cook so I applied at Stratford Upon Avon College. Whilst on this course I had to resit my I.T. GCSE as it was a requirement for the course, but scraped on with my remaining other grades. After the two year course you had the option to leave or stop on for another year and specialize in the kitchen or front of house. I stopped on and specialized whilst many left to enter the hospitality and catering world. If I had the chance to do it all over again I feel that extra year, almost free training was priceless in the greater picture. The detail, the opportunities and the foundation for growth were all inside that last year. I've also found that asking the question even when you think it's going to be a no can turn out to be a yes. School will tell you if you don't achieve predicted grades and fulfill your potential at that given moment, somehow you could be doomed. Along the way I've found many people have no clue about what they want to become successful in, they just take opportunity when it turns up and is offered through hard work.
If you've just finished school and the grades didn't go your way don't get down. Just think what you're good at and what you enjoy, find a course that you like and inquire, ring them up and keep ringing them until your talking to the right person (persistence is admirable and will get you places). You might get in and have to resit one exam (remember you're not the only one in the world resitting an exam). Keep your head up and focus on the end goal, ask questions and carry on asking them until you know the answer. Remember this is higher education and people of all ages and all backgrounds apply. This isn't the end of the road, it could be the beginning!
Thanks for reading
The Secret Chef