Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Vitonen student Sade heard a depressing prediction about her future in middle school – then she decided to do something no one would believe


In middle school, Sade Vitanen’s average was so bad that, according to others, he had no concerns about going to high school. A firm believer in her dreams, Sade proved the skeptics wrong. He is now pursuing his dream field of law at university.

“It takes being really smart to get it right. But don’t worry, you’ll definitely make a good nurse.”

Sade Vitanen, 22, still remembers the comforting words she heard from loved ones a few years ago. He just found out that he didn’t get into law school on the first try.

Despite the disappointment, Sade decided to stick to the dream that had sparked her in her early teens.

However, it was clear that the road to the dream industry would not open with school grades alone. When Sade graduated in the spring of 2019, she only had a few E’s on her certificate. They were accompanied by a long line of B grades, i.e. the lowest approved grade, followed by Lubenter approbators. He failed completely in one subject.

However, three years after graduating from high school, Sade had managed to do something that few who followed her school days could have believed: the daughter of a working-class family, who mostly attended school. Having received poor grades, she was able to study law at university. Lapland.

oppo’s discouraging words

Sade’s challenges in attending school began when he moved to middle school.

– In my opinion, I’ve always been an average student, but in middle school school started getting worse. Except for physical education, social studies, and a few other random subjects, my grades were mostly veto and kutos, Sade now tells me Nice.

– I got so many fours in Matika that I doubt whether I will be able to complete the subject or not.

When thinking about further studies became relevant, the study counselor told 15-year-old Sade discouraging news: with current grades, he would barely be able to make it to high school.


I was struck by a great desire to show off.

At the time, the lowest average among high schools in the Turku region was 7.4, and Sade’s average in eighth grade was 5.8.

– I was recommended to study tourism or cooking in vocational school. Opo’s words touched my heart, because I really used to dream of becoming a lawyer.

In Sade’s opinion, there was nothing wrong with the professions in question, but he did not show interest in them.

– I dreamed of making a career in law, because a strong sense of justice and a desire to help have been burning in me since childhood.

It rained. He fought fiercely in the ninth grade.

– I had a great desire to show off. Even though I’d always done my homework beforehand and listened in class, I started investing in school with redoubled vigor.

In the end, Sade was able to increase his numbers by two or three grades, so that his primary school leaving certificate average corresponded to the lowest possible average with which he could enter high school.

a pre-written future

In autumn 2016, Sade started high school. Even though he did better in some subjects than before, schooling did not go smoothly. English and math, which turned out to be the biggest stumbling block, were just as bad as in middle school.


It felt like my future was already decided for me.

Sade says he hears people wondering how he ended up in high school. Close circles and school staff were skeptical about Sade’s biggest dream of studying law. Some even warned Sade that he was aiming too high for his abilities.

The worst thing was to hear that you couldn’t get into the industry without your parents studying law. It felt like my future was already decided for me when math wasn’t working out and neither of my parents had graduated from college.

When it was time to think about further studies in middle school, Sade was recommended a vocational school.  Sade still kept her head and applied to a vocational school as well as a high school in a joint application — and got there, too.

When it was time to think about further studies in middle school, Sade was recommended a vocational school. Sade still kept her head and applied to a vocational school as well as a high school in a joint application — and got there, too. Photo: Sade Vitanen

However, the skepticism of others failed to shake Sade’s ambition and self-belief.

Doubting comments were adding fuel to the fire. I wanted to show others and myself even harder that I could achieve my dreams and transcend certain class boundaries in society.

In the spring of 2019, Sade graduated from high school with mediocre grades. He wrote a total of eight subjects. Because there were so many subjects, Sade received compensation points from the matriculation examination, with which he was able to fail one examination.

chasing your dreams paid off

After high school, Sade earned a law degree. The doors didn’t open on the first try, and didn’t on the second either.

It was hard to believe that even after applying for the third time, I could not get a place to study. At that time, Sade was on the verge of admission due to an evaluation error in the examination. Sade decided to make the selection test in need of reform.

In August 2022, in the middle of a festive evening, Sade heard the news:

– I had received one point required for admission, and I was accepted to study at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi. There was crying.

At the moment, Sade is taking his final law exams from this spring. The first year’s studies have gone well. Even English legal terminology and mathematics related to financial and commercial law no longer produce surprisingly great difficulties, because of the location of the motivation for the subject matter studied.

Sade plans to complete his degree at a faster pace than usual.

Sade has also enjoyed getting back to student life after waiting for many years.

– The last three springs were spent counting the entrance exams in the library. This is the first spring I haven’t had to apply to school. “Finally I’m able to enjoy all the highlights of the season, such as Vavau and Eurovision, that have passed in previous years,” Sade smiles.

Sade heard many warnings about not being able to study law without lawyer parents or top grades.

Sade heard many warnings about not being able to study law without lawyer parents or top grades. “What others say should not determine what your future looks like.” Photo: Sade Vitanen

Success in school creates pressure in youth

Witton’s leap from mediocrity to academic study does Sade proud. Achieving a longstanding dream required a lot of work and effort—as well as a touch of stubbornness, for which he shrugged off wary and skeptical comments.

– If I had given up after the first application and applied to become a nurse encouraged by others, I would now be doing a job that I don’t feel like doing. Will regret it.

Sade wants to inspire other youth to believe that chasing your dreams and passions is worthwhile.

– I would like to think that if you are willing to work, you can achieve anything. It’s also good to remember that there are many paths to learning.


It’s insane how many young people fear that there’s no way they’ll get into university without top grades.

Especially in recent years, many high school students have been able to experience pressure from grades, as more than half of new university students starting in 2020 are selected by certificate selection rather than entrance exams. In technology areas, among other things, the share of certificate selection has been increased to 80 percent.

In Sade’s opinion, school success should not decide one’s future.

– It’s crazy how many young people feel pressured by L’s papers and scared that there’s no way to get into university without top grades. Sade reflects that the choices made at a young age should not determine what the future looks like.

Improvements are to be made in the selection of certificates awarding marks for various subjects in 2026. The goal of the reform is not only to reduce the pressure caused by the current scoring model among high school students, but also to ensure that the choices high schools make in subject selection do not limit their chances to apply for different fields in the future. does not do.

Read more: An over-emphasis on long maths is the height of misunderstanding, says a respected maths teacher – and explains why

Read more: With a 6.8 to become a classroom teacher – Finn explains his Leaving Certificate average and what happened to him

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