Results Day

An old-school post about collecting your exam results.

Posted on 4 min read

I’m not trying to be some kind of mediocre lifestyle guru, honestly. Here’s my experience of receiving my GCSE and A-Level Results. (You best get your reading glasses out. It’s a long one…)

Uni assignment: Not quite as stupid as I make out, am I?

My GCSE grades were average. I got seven Cs, three Bs and one D, which I’ll not dwell on. I’ve always been a Jack-of-all-trades, and it’s people who are okay at everything but don’t particularly excel at anything that are ignored in a classroom environment. Those who are visibly struggling get help from teachers, so do naughty kids and those who are exceptionally good at subjects get noticed too. Those who are stuck in the middle, muddling their way through GCSEs and A-Levels often get overlooked, which doesn’t help their confidence. If you’re one of those people, as was I, remember: You’re doing just fine.

I’ll admit that my A-Level grades were quite bad. To me, they were abysmal, in fact. I’m so ashamed of them even today (five years later), that I shan’t admit here what they were, but I still got into my first choice Uni. It’s only at Uni that confidence grew and I started to work to the best of my ability, like I never managed at school. In the end, I really knuckled down and graduated last year with a 2:1. So I didn’t do too badly in the end, did I?

Moral of that story? It’s never too late to pull your socks up and try to excel… You might just surprise yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Most of my friends are ridiculously clever and usually put me to shame. I’m proud of them and proud to be their friend, but it doesn’t mean to say that I haven’t gone through phases of feeling inferior next to their exceptional intelligence and talents. You can only be yourself and achieve what you are capable of.

Let it go. If you’re not good at Maths, try your hardest and then move on. Focus on what you’re good at and; most importantly, what you enjoy. Not everyone can be good at Maths and Science and there’s nothing wrong with being better at Drama and English. Those who tell you otherwise are the stupid ones.

Try and ignore the politics. I know Michael Gove is a tallywacker, to say the least, but he’s gone now. (Cue a collective sigh of relief from teachers and students alike). I also know that it’s desperately unfair that politicians are moving the goalposts and effectively playing with your lives. I was lucky that I never had to endure this added uncertainty when I took my GCSEs in 2007. You can only do your best, even though they’re in ever-demanding circumstances.

Ignore the news. Every single news channel will broadcast live from schools across the land, bombarding you with those special kids who got 20 A*s at GCSE and are now going to study 17 million A-Levels at the best college that’s ever existed. Well done to them. They even got to open their magic brown envelope live on TV. You literally can’t escape the high achievers; the media LOVE them. It’s no use letting that drag you down on what should be a special and memorable day for you (Hopefully for the right reasons…)

So you didn’t get into the paper. Okay, so you’ll never experience acclaim like having a picture of you literally jumping for joy whilst clutching that once-terrifying brown envelope, but that’s alright. At least it won’t come back to haunt you in fifteen years time.

It really isn’t the end of the world if you fail. So, you got a D in Graphic Products (like I did…) Is it really the end of the world? Will you really need to complete Third Angle Orthographic Projection again in your future career? Or will you just forget it like most things you learned at school? You can retake failed subjects or forget them and move on. Like I said, focus on what you’re good at and what you enjoy. I never really liked Graphics that much anyway…

Don’t cry. Please don’t do this. Embarrassingly, I did this once. I was so disappointed with my AS results that I walked home crying past some builders who clearly thought I’d lost the plot. It’s not worth getting too upset about. Everything’ll be alright in the end.

And if you passed with flying colours, well done!

Thanks for reading!

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