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Blog by apprentice Mack Franklin

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"When you focus on the good, the good increases"

This past year has been a roller coaster ride. There have been some absolute highs, but also some lows. Things that used to come naturally to me just didn’t anymore and I had a hard time understanding why.  

Have a quick read of this article about mental blocks. It helped me out, maybe it will help you out too: https://monday.com/blog/productivity/5-helpful-tips-overcoming-mental-blocks/ 

By the end of last year (2019) I had achieved my grade 6 and my grade 8 saxophone both at a merit within two terms of each other. My hard work and determination had paid off. However, I then took my grade 8 piano the term after achieving a merit at grade 8 saxophone and I failed. It was disheartening. At that point I just wasn’t feeling good about myself. I failed my grade 8 piano and my driving test. Things just weren’t looking good. Then I got the most amazing opportunity to start my degree apprenticeship early. Things were looking up. Alongside my apprenticeship, I was still working really hard at the piano, to be able to enter for the adapted exams that the exam board had developed (https://gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/)So I took the exam in July and I failed again. I took this really badly to begin with and I felt awful. It took the encouragement from friends and family to see how well I had actually done and how much I had improved by (7 marks) to actually give me the drive to try even harder and smash it the next time I took the exam. And that is what I did. I may have just scraped it, but a pass is a pass, after nearly two years of preparation. When I got the news, I was surrounded by my work colleagues on my first day at the office. It is possibly the best way to start of my apprenticeship and this new school year.  

However, my piano exams weren’t my only setback. I’m in the class of 2020 for college/sixth form leavers, meaning I didn’t have to take any of my A-Level exams. I was always hardworking and consistent with my grades throughout my entire time at college. I took four instead of the standard three, as well as doing extra-curricular music and mentoring with Hot House, so I had a lot to juggle. So imagine my surprise when I received my results and found out that I had been awarded an A*, a B and two D’s (more than enough to get me onto my Uni course https://www.derby.ac.uk/apprenticeships/chartered-manager-degree-apprenticeship/).  I’m not going to lie, I was very disappointed and upset, as I had never gotten below a C grade before. It took a while to get over the fact that I got D’s in two of my subjects, but I then decided to focus on the fact that I had a place on my Uni course and that I got an A* in media! This A* is being put to good use in my apprenticeship, with loads of new media products being created and ready to distribute.  Then, the Monday after I received my results, the government decided to do a U-turn and award all A-level and GCSE students their Centre Assessed Grades. For me this was great news, as three of my grades went up a level! So instead of the initial A*, B and two D’s, I actually achieved A*, A and two C’s. In regard to UCAS points this is the equivalent of achieving triple A*!  

Here is a handy UCAS point calculator: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator 

In life, we’re always going to have setbacks. Or if you want a more positive view on it, learning opportunities. It all depends on how we view things and how we overcome our difficulties.  


 #motivation #positivity #hhmusic #hhapprentice #hhmack #changelives

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