She says she volunteered in order to get some different experiences to put on her CV, but would like to do more volunteering in the future. "Now that I don’t have study in my evenings and at weekends I feel like much more of my spare time is my time, so it would be nice to use some of that for volunteering. Especially as you can do it locally – it’s convenient."
"I found the event in Leicester really interesting because it was introducing kids to chemistry in the world around them that they hadn't ever thought of because they were so young. To help them think about chemical structures, on one of the desks we had MolyMods in the shape of certain scents, and they had to smell the scent and then I'd show them the structure. They got really interested in it."
Everything happens for a reason
Merryn has an MChem in chemistry and is at the beginning of an exciting career. She has some advice for students anxiously awaiting the results of their A-levels this week:
"I now have the philosophy that everything happens for a reason, because yes it felt like a disaster on results day, but now I’ve graduated with an undergraduate Masters and a first. If I had got into my first choice, chances are I wouldn’t have lived in Spain, perhaps I wouldn’t have worked in industry that summer, I wouldn’t have come out with the combined Masters, and I maybe wouldn’t have got a job straight away."
"But let’s face it, you don’t have to go to university – it’s not for everyone and it’s not the be-all and end-all. If you don’t get the grades you need, it may feel like the end of the world but it’s really not. There’s always another opportunity around the corner."
Advice for students
If things don’t go to plan on results day, don’t despair! Have a look at the UCAS Who to contact page for what to do next.
The first thing to do is to contact your chosen universities, including the ones whose offers you didn’t accept. If you need help after this you can call UCAS’s exam results helpline, on 0808 100 8000.
They can talk you through your various options, including re-sits and re-marks, vocational learning routes such as apprenticeships and diplomas, employment, and gap years. You can also call this number if your results are higher than expected and you want to review your options.