I Don’t Want To Be Defined

It’s that time of year where the dreaded results day is looming. At the time of writing, it’s precisely 3 days, 7 hours, 5 minutes and 40 seconds away, which is PRETTY BLOODY CLOSE let me tell you. For those who are blissfully unaware, most 18 year olds in the UK will be receiving their A-Level results on Thursday 13th August, which will determine whether they get into their chosen university, or even any university at all.

I’m sure most of you will agree that this a time of great stress, not helped by the media (see The Telegraph’s latest article here) and the general pressure from parents, teachers and peers who will have done that bit better than you. I’ve seen comments from students who believe it will be ‘the end of the world’ if they don’t achieve X grade, or get into X university, but really, I don’t think it should be like that.

I don’t want to be defined by the letters on that piece of paper. I don’t want to believe that I am superior if I see an A*, or that I am worth nothing if I see a C. Sadly, this is most likely how I, and thousands of others, will be feeling standing in the school hall on Thursday morning. I’ve written before about how desperate I am to go to King’s to study English Language and Linguistics, and that fact that this could all be taken away from me because of a few letters is nothing short of devastating.

The people sitting in the admissions offices of universities don’t know us. They don’t know that you didn’t sleep for a week before your exams as you felt so nervous, frantically reading revision notes and knowing none of it was going in. They don’t know that you missed countless social gatherings and parties, losing friends as a result, so you would feel a tiny bit more prepared when you walked into that exam hall. And they certainly don’t know about the time you sat up all night with your friend after a break up, or when you gave that homeless man your bus fare, or that you still cry yourself to sleep after the death of your cat. What I’m saying is, the people deciding on your future right this very minute know nothing of you except for those letters on a page, which do NOT define you. You are so much more than that.

So when I open that envelope on Thursday morning, I will most likely be a blubbering wreck whatever the outcome, thanks to the build up and anticipation. But just as I will try not to be arrogant if the results are pleasing, I will try not to be too hard on myself if they are not as brilliant as I’d like. As I know that, at the end of the day, I have a lot to give, and my future will work itself out whether I get an A or a C.

Keep smiling!

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