A-level results in 2018: 'All the hard work has paid off'

A-level students across Wales opened their all-important results envelopes on Thursday to find out whether their hard work had paid off.

But how does it feel? And what is next? These young people explain:

Rhys Henry, 19, from Neath and Wales Under-20 squad member

Image copyright Huw Evans Agency
Image caption "There's life after rugby and you've got to be prepared for that"

Got two Bs and an A which earned him a place to study history at Swansea University

For Wales Under-20 and Ospreys prop Rhys Henry, results day brought good news after a lot of juggling.

"I'm just really happy that all the hard work has paid off," he said.

The 19-year old Neath Port Talbot College student had his mind on rugby for most of the summer, training with his club team, the Ospreys.

But he is aware that he needs to be prepared for life after rugby, too.

"As much as I want to play rugby professionally and earn a living from it, it's not a guarantee," he said.

When exam time came around he was busy representing his country as a member of the Wales Under-20s squad.

"We went out to the south of France for the Junior World Cup and it clashed with four of my exams out there. We played Japan on the Thursday and I had my first exam on the Wednesday so that was tough, having to come from an exam room and then switching on really for a game," he added.

Being organised and having good relationships with the people he works with had been key to achieving his grades, he said. He planned ahead with lecturers and coaches to be able to sit all his exams.

Good communication had also helped him deal with clashes between training and studying. He made sacrifices too, giving up a cap for Wales to sit one of his exams.

"It had to be done," he added.

Shoruk Nekeb, 18, Cardiff

Image copyright Shoruk Nekeb
Image caption Shoruk Nekeb moved to Cardiff eight years ago
  • Got three As in Chemistry, Arabic, Welsh Baccalaureate and two Bs in Maths and Art

Shoruk Nekeb has wanted to be an architect ever since she was a girl growing up in Libya.

The 18-year-old, who now lives in Riverside in Cardiff, has secured the next step towards her dream career after she achieved five A-levels at at Fitzalan High School.

But she said it was a difficult journey.

"It was the worst year of my life, but it was worth it. It was a big shock and unexpected," she said.

She will study architecture at Cardiff University this September.

It is a long way from the Arabic TV programme she watched growing up in Libya, which inspired her to consider architecture.

"There was a girl wearing a construction helmet over her head scarf on the TV - it really stuck with me because I didn't think girls could do that," she said.

When Shoruk and her family moved to Cardiff eight year ago, it developed into an interest in the environment and sustainable buildings.

"Often I'd come into school with handfuls of litter I would see whilst walking in," she said.

The most painful part of A-levels were the exams for Shoruk.

"I'm thrilled but still reminding myself to feel human," she reflected.

Image copyright St David's Catholic College
Image caption Ashna Anil (left) and her friend Coco Zhang collecting their A Level results at St David’s Catholic College

Ashna Anil, 18, from Cardiff

  • Got three A*s in Maths, Chemistry and Biology and one A in Welsh Baccalaureate.

The 18 year old said: "I'm thrilled and relieved."

"I think all the support from friends, family and my teachers was really key to my success.

"There was a slow build up of revision that came to a big crescendo."

She is going to study medicine at Cardiff University in September.

For her, a career in medicine was something she has been really interested in.

"I didn't want a purely academic career and with medicine there is that part which is hands on," she added.

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