The day you may have been dreading for these past few weeks, months, or even years. Once you hear that final “pens down” there is absolutely nothing you can do. Your fate is in the hands of the examiner gods.
Being the perfectionist that I am, I can remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and how I felt for each of my own result’s days.
Let me start a whole decade ago with my GCSEs. Unlike my fellow classmates who were queuing up from the early hours, I had been working all morning when I finally received the call from my father. The conversation started with those dreaded words, “I think you may be a little disappointed”. He was not mistaken; after years of taking part in maths challenges I had not achieved the grade I had presumed would come with ease. I had not managed to get that A* that I had always wanted. At the time it felt like my world had ended. Looking back now, I can see how this was not be all and end all. Life went on.
Then there were the dreaded A-Levels. I am sure it is true when I say that many sleepless nights can be accounted for the grades written on those pieces of paper. They tend to have more of an impression on the rest of your life. These are the grades that determine which University you go to, which subjects you will study, what path your life will lead. I was staying over at my ex-boyfriends house, once again not joining my classmates lining up outside. I was too nervous to check the results myself, but when he told me that I had not been accepted into my first choice, I felt like my whole world had fallen apart. But once more, life went on.
It seems almost comical that my first results that I am truly proud of are the ones that I do not remember attaining. It is somewhat of a mystery in my household as to who it was that discovered that I had managed to scrape a 2:1 in my Degree in Psychology. Even to this day I have no recollection of taking my final exams, and it was not until I stumbled upon it on the computer that I was able to find out what I had written my dissertation about (funnily enough it was on perfectionism!).
One thing that I have learnt about obtaining results is that it can appear as though nothing is ever going to be good enough; I suppose that is the perfectionist in me. But more recently I have realised something. Everything happens for a reason, even not attaining the results you so desperately want. It may sound like a cliché, but it is true, and that is why I want to take this opportunity to say something to everyone out there opening his or her exam results. Whatever the outcome, pick yourself up and dust yourself off, because, life goes on.