Today was A Level Results day.
For those of you who are unaware of the UK education system, I’ll explain briefly. ( skip this bit otherwise)
-We start secondary school at the age of 11 and we spend the first three years (7,8,9) not really doing all that much. We then complete external exams in yr 10 and 11. Normally around 9/10 including Maths, English and Science
-Then.. those of us who are more academically inclined… so to speak, go on to complete A Levels ( yrs 12 and 13) . You chose 4, and in your second year you drop down to 3. Again, these are all marked externally and with respective grades most go on to university / start a career.
So, whilst you may already have a provisional place at university granted in, let’s say January, it depends on your results in August. Basically, this day can be a bit of deal breaker, and so, as you can imagine the lead up to this day get’s rather uncomfortable.
It’s because, up until now, although everything you’ve ever done in life has of course, lead to another, none before this have perhaps had such an impact. This is kind of because, it’s like the beginning of your new life. Up until now, most things about your life have been controlled. Now you can chose the path you wish to take. When you think about this, it’s kind of a big deal. These results decipher whether you are going to go here, or there, make friends, start a career…the list goes on. It will shape the rest of your life.
I have handed out A Level results for the last 7 years. I’ve seen it all, tears of joy, tears of misery. Whilst I am happy for the people who have done well and achieved, I’m happier for those who didn’t quite make it. They don’t realise at the time, but they have actually been given a second chance. They once had a life which was all set up for them. They were going to do X degree at X university ( for example) . Now they are not. They now need to rethink what they are going to do, without the pressure of what society states that they should. ( lets face it… that didn’t go to0 well the first time.) I’m not saying that they shouldn’t resit and better themselves, but I don’t think they should have to.
On everyday this year, I think about my results. 6 years ago I was awarded two B’s and a C. Not good enough for either Leeds or Cardiff. I didn’t cry. I knew before that that B in Philosophy was never going to happen. I had somewhat accepted the fact that I would have to change my plans. But if I had got the results I wanted? What if? I can’t even imagine how my life would be turning out. I don’t even think I would be writing this now if I’m honest with you. It actually freaks me out to think about the people I would have never met If I hadn’t gone to Hull. And not just at Hull but in the years that have followed since graduating.
In fact, to put things bluntly. If I had had got the results I needed, I would never have gone to Hull, I never would have had a boyfriend who thought it would be a good idea to dump me 3 days before Christmas 2013 ( Sorry Ben, if you read this!). I never would have gone travelling to ‘sort out my life’. Hong Kong, Australia and Thailand would never have lead to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and The USA. I mean, even if I had gone to America never in my wildest dreams would I have thought about spending time in Dallas or Durango. Then there’s Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Jordan and Switzerland. Not to mention that next month marks two years of working in Front of House Hospitality. I mean, come on. I’m the least most hospitable person that I know. AND perhaps the biggest I would never: I never would have even contemplated moving abroad, let alone Canada.
I really don’t know how I would have spent the last 6 years of my life. Yes, some days, weeks and even months have not been too great. ( I spent a fair portion of 2014 crying into a tissue whilst watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S on repeat…) But I am pretty sure life wouldn’t have been as half interesting had I got the results I wanted.
Perhaps this is a lesson for when anything goes wrong, not just exam results. But for what its worth, and I’ll state this now.
I’m glad I fucked up my A Levels. Those mistakes on those exams papers where the best I’ve ever made.
to follow my journey:
Filmed with Canon G7X, Canon 60D & Iphone6