Exams. Yuck. I still have nightmares that I’m in an exam hall not knowing what I’m doing… and I finished school years ago.
It can seem like everything comes down to your exam results. It can feel like the be-all and end-all of how your life will turn out. There’s nothing more stressful than being 18 and thinking you have to have your whole life decided and that it comes down to some grades. But the crazy thing is, it doesn’t have to be like that.
We reached out to our listener fam to find out the incredible lives they lead if maybe exams weren’t their thing, and it showed that really, you can pretty much achieve and do anything. Regardless of if you nailed that two-hour torture of sitting in an exam hall, or you ended up hating what you did at uni… never too late to change it up and find something you love.
1. 'Dropped out of school at 14! Began hairdressing academy, qualifying and loving it for 22yrs in now been and interior exterior painter for 6 yrs! Do what ya heart says.'
2. 'I was dismissed from school at 15 and went on to having a child at 17 I then got my certificate in relaxation massage, started a business, moved on from that I'm now married with 3 kids and we own 2 successful businesses, life's what you make it.'
3. 'I missed out on UE entrance, so went Nannying in London. Landed a job working for a family and Touring with ACDC and Metallica! 🤟'
4. 'I skipped out on all my exams became a tractor operator and am now a vineyard foreman earning a very nice wage. Was able to buy a house at 22 and am currently supporting my partner and 2 kids on that. Surprisingly in this economy, If you have a good work ethic and attitude anything is possible.'
5. 'I lost a best friend to suicide the week before final exams and I had plans to go to university for architecture, but I was so distracted when exams started and failed year 13 because I needed those exams, so couldn't go to uni in the end... Now I'm an operations manager for a very successful company with over 30 staff and potentially will become the business manager!'
6. 'I actually sucked at school, took cooking, woodwork, PE instead of sciences, failed maths, and now I am almost a nurse. Just shows that when you're passionate about something you can do anything. I couldn't do algebra, physics, chemistry, etc in school, but as soon as patients are involved I can calculate medication doses and know pathophysiology, treatment paths, and stuff like that. School is not the be all end all.'
7. 'Didn't get the best results in ncea but passed, graduated my degree in architecture with honours and I run a media company. Everything I did I was told I wouldn't be able to, but actions and determination get you a long way.'
8. 'I just scrapped through ncea level 1. I didn't believe that much was going to come from leaving college early. I was unemployed for a good 2 years and not really on the hunt for much. But now, at the age of 32, I am a fully qualified plumber and drain layer running my own company.'