Michal is celebrating after achieving his 3 As and is now heading to university.
Michal Wojcik, 20, from Thirsk, is celebrating after achieving A Levels in Sociology (A*), Psychology (A*) and English Literature (A).
Following a highly successful first year at RNC Michal was confident that he had reached his goal after months of hard work: ‘I did so much exam practice, it was really helpful. I did a lot of essays and got a lot of feedback from my teachers, and it takes a lot of anxiety out of it. I’m so used to being able to judge my own work now that I had a good idea of what I would get. It felt good when I walked out of the exam room.
‘I’m going to go to Leeds Uni in September to study Philosophy and Psychology. Initially I was planning on just doing Psychology and being a psychologist or a counsellor, but I really like Philosophy and thought I’d go with my heart. I don’t have a career plan, I’m just going to do what I enjoy and see what happens.’
Despite his success, Michal acknowledges that the decision to come to RNC was not an easy one.
‘At the beginning I found it really difficult and there were times I didn’t want to be there, but I grew to love it. I made a lot of academic progress and personal progress. I made a lot of new skills, living independently was really good. It’s good to go to the events they run and see if there are people you can make friends with. If there are, it’s worth the sacrifice of leaving home. In the end it makes you more independent.’
Michal is quick to acknowledge the differences he found between his old mainstream college and RNC, which helped him to find his way:
‘I went to the sixth form of my high school. We were treated like children. You didn’t get the same independence and respect. At RNC there’s a sense of ‘you’ll get out what you put in’, and it’s your responsibility to some extent. At sixth form and school it was more ‘you have to do this, you have to do that’.
‘I really loved my teachers. They were all really good. I think they are the main reason I did so well. I really got on with them all. They’re willing to help with anything, you can talk to them about anything. It’s a really good atmosphere.’
Michal also feels that his RNC experience as a residential student will give him a head start when he gets to Leeds: ‘For over a year and a half I’ve been cooking for myself every day, proper meals. I’ve learned to live independently, and that’s an advantage I’ll have over most people at uni. Most won’t have lived on their own, they’ll have had things done for them by their parents. I had my own kitchen in my second year and it taught me a lot of cooking skills and independence in general.
‘When you go to uni there are so many worries – new place, will I make friends, so much work, new skills in how to look after yourself – I already have those, so it’s less stress.’