HUNDREDS of students across Tyrone received the results of their A-Level exams last week, a moment which, for many, marked the beginning of a brand new and exciting adventure in their young lives.
After two years of hard study, many teenagers will now leave behind the rural confines of their Tyrone towns and venture to pastures greener.
Whether that be going off to university, moving on to full time employment or even taking time away from study to travel, the world really is their oyster.
Overall, the proportion of students receiving the top grade at A-Level has increased in the North, with pupils here consistently outperforming their counterparts in England and Wales in recent years.
Of the 28,000 students receiving A-level and AS-level results in the North, 30 per-cent achieved A* or A grades. Stem subjects continue to contribute to more than one third of exam entries, with maths remaining the most popular A-Level subject for boys and biology for girls.
James Warnock, from Dean Maguirc College, Carrickmore was just one of the principals in Tyrone, to speak of the sense of pride in the pupils’ success.
“It is great to see the students of the college succeed across the range of both academic and vocational subjects that is offered here in the school or through collaboration with South West College, Omagh and St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley,” said Mr Warnock.
“It is great that their endeavour has given way to so many getting their first choice at third level education and to now also see an increase in the number of our pupils pursuing degree and higher level apprenticeships on completion of their second level education.”
But don’t forget, grades do not define a person. As Malcolm Forbes, owner of famous Forbes magazine once said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
So for those who were left disappointed and dejected on Thursday, there are so many other options out there which you shouldn’t be afraid to explore.
For those struggling with results stress, Childline is available 24-hours-a-day to talk and last year the charity delivered over 150 counselling sessions to young people across the North.
Do not hesitate to contact Childline’s free and confidential helpline on 0800 1111 for help and support.