The truth is, there is no 'right' decision.
Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) have been running the #NoWrongPath campaign. The aim is to show pupils that, despite any potential disappointment in their exam results, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to taking the next steps in your education journey.
This is something I wholeheartedly support.
Prior to leaving school, I had flirted with the idea of building on my creative nature and becoming an architect. Following that, I thought that chiropractic was for me - even going so far as to visit the AECC University College in Bournemouth. I was a lovely place, but it didn't sit completely right with me.
9 months later, whilst approaching the end of sixth year and having missed the UCAS university application deadline, still not totally sure what to do, I decided (and was maybe a bit pushed) to put together a CV. Flavour of the month was 'getting a job which would give me a grounding in business'.
Plenty of my close family had run successful businesses in the past, so this seemed like a reasonable aspiration.
"No danger - accountants are boring."
At the same time as I was submitting the CV to local banks, a job came up with a local accountancy firm. I still remember the conversation where my parents asked me if I fancied being an accountant.
I laughed in response, "no danger - accountants are boring."
Perhaps we are . . .
However, I was fortunate enough to land that job. Little did I know it, but it would prove to be the stepping stone to a career which I find extremely rewarding.
University vs on the job
For some jobs, university is essential. I wouldn't want my doctor having honed his craft from experimenting in the garden shed.
For many other careers, learning on the job can provide you with all the necessary skills - and perhaps even put you ahead of your Uni counterparts. I feel that this is what happened to me.
I learned the fundamentals of the profession through a combination of theory in the form of a Modern Apprenticeship at Orkney College followed by several years of distance learning, and practical real life situations on the job. Exams were always made easier as I was able to relate exam scenarios to real situations I had worked with in the office.
Explore all of the options out there for you. Keep an open mind.
Enjoy the journey
I think the key thing I've learned over the last few years is to just enjoy the journey.
I certainly never envisaged being in the position that I am now, but I consider myself very fortunate that I am. I've enjoyed the journey so far, and I'm excited for where it might take me.
If your results today weren't quite what you hoped for, don't fret. Explore all of the options out there for you. You might not know what is 'best' - but that's perfectly normal. Keep an open mind.
You never know, it might just be luck's way of opening another door for you.