Paula Melissa smiling, pink background


Reading Time: 3 minutes

This post is the encouragement I wish I was given four years ago when I was picking up my A Level results and finding out whether or not I got into my chosen university to study my chosen course.

It is so fascinating having a diverse range of ages reading my blog because it means one minute I’m talking about relationships and careers and then the next second I’m giving school advice. I love it.

My experience of secondary school, especially my A Levels were incredibly anxiety-filled – and I just wish I got to enjoy it more.

Paula Melissa smiling, pink background

The British education system has manufactured, mastered and mass-produced the lie that everything in life depends on what grades you get. I’m here to tell you, that is infact a lie.

Of course education is important – and to a very large extent, it is important that we have an at least semi-literate society, but we are so much more than a number or letter that makes up a percentage. So much more.

Once we realise that our grades do not define our identity, purpose or personality, we will stop putting disgusting amounts of pressure on children and teenagers in schools.

Again, I want to stress, this post is not to say we should not work hard in school – if you read my post when I got my A Level results back in 2015, you will know that for both my GCSEs and A Levels, I gave it my all. I pulled all-nighters, barely ate or slept and revised ALL THE TIME. But now as an adult, I can tell you confidently, that was not healthy and was not a great way to learn because I can barely remember anything I studied.

My love, who you are goes beyond how smart you think you are.

My love, who you are goes beyond how smart you think you are. Please invest as much time and energy in to enriching your personality, your heart, your spirit as you do tricking yourself into remembering and cramming for exams.

Eat right, sleep right – honestly I have been tired since my A Levels!

When you open that envelope to read a letter or a number which determines your next step in life, remember what I have said to you.

Remember that you are loved and were uniquely created by God to solve a problem in this world that only you can do. And you may not even need a degree for it! (One day I’ll write a piece about how we put toooo much emphasis on university and how there are so many other options and alternative and how univeristy is actually a toxic space for so many people. One day.)

If you are going to Sheffield University or Sheffield Hallam University, you are coming to the best city ever (or joint best with London, I’m still a London girl even though I live in Shef) and you will have a great time. Feel free to get in touch with me for any advice about Sheffield (especially if you’re black and/or a Christian 😉)

Wherever life takes you, wishing you all the best. Go and be great, with your lavender!


Paula Melissa xx

Paula Melissa is a digital content creator, portrait photographer and freelance journalist. Since starting a blog in 2012 and graduating from the University of Sheffield with a Journalism Studies with Employment Experience degree in 2019, Paula has gone on to create and grow her own dynamic digital media empire. She loves reading, eating and spending time with her dog, Rolfie.
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