It was GCSE results day in the UK yesterday and ALevel results day last week and although I wasn’t getting any results myself, you cannot escape hearing about the day dreaded by so many.
Disclaimer: I am not trying to tell anyone how they should feel, nor disregard high results. A HUGE congratulations to anyone who got results, and a huge congratulations to anyone who failed – at least you got through the lessons, revision, exams and can start a new adventure, whatever that may be!
I got my A Level results 2 years ago now, but after going into my boyfriends sisters school with her to collect her ALevel results last week, I remembered the sleepless nights, the worry, the excitement, the nerves, the joy, the disappointment and everything else I felt that dreaded morning and so many other mornings throughout sixth form.
Two years of GCSEs and A Levels are truly exhausting. To work so ridiculously hard for two years, and have two years of work tested on an hour exam to then be marked by strangers and put into grades that brand your intelligence, compare you to thousands of other people, rank you in groups, and often determine your future is gutting if those letters are not what you want them to be.
Everyone always says that grades don’t define you, and yes of course they don’t – you can be a lovely person whether you get A*s Cs or Us, and what you get shouldn’t define you, but in our world now a days so often they can. It’s so easy to say that to others, but it’s harder to think that when you’re the one with the results.
Social Media on results day is what I really hate. Less with GCSE results, but particularly with ALevels, I wasn’t overly keen when I got results myself, but after seeing the day from an outsiders perspective last week, I think some people can be a little insensitive:
Imagine waking up, finding out you didn’t get into your dream uni, to them scroll down Facebook and see 20 purple screenshots from UCAS that all your friends have posted, saying how happy they are with their results.
Sometimes in the joy and excitement it’s hard to remember that other people might not be as happy as you are.
This is another issue though, as if people who get As and A*s, and are a bit gutted that they weren’t all A*s are made to feel like they aren’t allowed to be upset. Of course they are. If you don’t get what you hope, whether that be all Cs or all A*s it’s always going to be gutting if you don’t get what you want.
I think sometimes, especially with social media nowadays, we as a country need to be more sensitive of the emotions attached to results day for so many.
A huge congratulations to any of you who got any results this year! And as hard as it is to think it, these results are not the end of the road for you. You have options. You can do what you want some way, regardless of results, it may mean there are more/less obstacles than you anticipated, but if you have passion you will get there.
Few questions that have been going round my head the last week and some I think we should all have a think about:
Why should people feel like they aren’t allowed to be emotionally invested in their results?
Why should it seem bad to get a C in one subject, just because you got As and A*s in another?
Why is someones reaction ‘Wow, that’s amazing’ if they’re told you got 3 A*s but only ‘Aw well done’ if you get BBC?
Why are the people who work hard and are dissapointed with their 3 As not allowed to wish they could’ve done better?
Why should you feel gutted, even if you’re happy with your results, because you know your parents will be dissapointed?
Why should you be expected to do ‘well’ just because your siblings did?
Why is ‘doing well’ only seen as getting high grades and getting into University/Sixth Form?
Not going to University/Sixth Form does not mean you are not intelligent. Not everyone wants to go to Uni, or can for their chosen career path. Being academic and good at exams should not mean that you should be seen as successful.
We are all individuals. We are all unique. We may be academic. We may not be.
We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses.
Celebrate you for who you are, not what exam grades you can and have achieved – life moves forward, despite exam results. Be proud of you.