This post is going to leave me feeling vulnerable. Well wasn’t that a honest start?
In all honesty, I am not really used to opening up on a virtual platform. Yet I am another British teenager waiting for their GCSE results tomorrow. Considering a few of you may be able to relate to this overwhelming sense of fear spiralling out of control, I thought why shouldn’t we embrace it together.
For the first time in my life, an envelope containing a piece of paper has managed to churn my mind with fear, doubts and what ifs. Every time the idea of results day looming up craves any attention, my mind would begin stressing over minor and major concerns. Sometimes it leaves me feeling as if I’m going to throw up since the butterflies in my stomach won’t just fly away and free themselves. And other times I just block, block and carry on with what I’m doing.
But results day is tomorrow.
And today is the day that most of us will stop thinking rationally and instead allow anxious thoughts to filter in and out of our thoughts.
Already, for the past week I have been refreshing the grade boundary tabs for reassurance that tomorrow will be okay. Now that the grade boundaries have come out, I have plans to curl up somewhere cosy and harshly judge if my self doubts are realistic or not. And of course my mind will continue screaming you could have done x,y,z and bullet point out an essay of what I could have done.
Deep down I know for one or two exams I could have studied harder. *cough computer science theory, physics cough* That I could have done better if I didn’t sit there days before cramming in notes, and past paper practices all day, all night. And then there are the exams that left me reeling inside where I just wanted to hit rewind and sort myself out. The first exam left me crying; I cannot recall what I was doing in the exam hall. All I remember is panicking and then finding out there was ten minutes left and I was still staring at a few empty pages, and then scrambling through to finish it. This happened for a few other papers, and those I worry about. Lastly, are the papers I found relatively pleasant, the exams that I left feeling you did your best. However, now I’m sitting here thinking what if you messed up big time and you didn’t realise. Or what if my best isn’t good enough?
Spilling out all these thoughts onto here, I know that I’m not the only one. (Seems like I’ve managed to quote Sam Smith’s song).
And that’s why I’ve made this post because despite all these worries and fears that Results Day is hoarding up inside of ourselves, there has to be someone out there to remind you that you will survive tomorrow. Your success does not have to entirely depend on the grades you get tomorrow.
If you exceed all your expectations tomorrow, congratulations. I am honestly so thrilled for you, and wish you the best for your future.
However, if you haven’t got the results you were chasing after, stop. Wait a minute.
Did you put your tears, your determination and your effort into it? If it’s a yes, then you should be damn proud of yourself. Damn proud that you didn’t give up at the signs of difficulty and hard work.
If it’s a no, you have learned a valuable lesson. The rungs on a ladder to your dreams and ambitions cannot be climbed if you do not take a step forward. However, this is not the end of the world contrary to how teachers, friends, and parents may put an emphasise on the urgency to get flying colours.
Right now, whatever your results are, you have the choice to pave yourself a new path and be the one that picked themselves up after a shock, and battered through new obstacles. There are a vast range of opportunities out there, and for whatever reason if you cannot go down your original path, there is more than one way to your future. Sixth form. College. Apprenticeships. BTECS. Employment. Online courses.
Success comes to those who have gratitude, those who have determination and those who work hard. It never falls to those who sit around dreaming big but putting in zero effort. Small steps can lead to a huge stride into conquering your hopes.
I want to finish this post by saying that yes we are scared. Yes most of us can’t stop thinking about tomorrow, but no, your results tomorrow does not define your intelligence. Instead it’s a large stepping stone towards us growing a little older, a little wiser, a little braver.
Do not beat yourself up tomorrow. Leave the past in the past, and focus on what you can do in the present to help you towards your ambitions. No matter what grade you get tomorrow, I will be proud of you because you got through the exam period. You sat the exams. Whether you studied 24/7 or studied a week beforehand, you still put in hard work and effort. So tomorrow when you open that envelope, smile a shaky smile, and acknowledge the fact that you tried. With all your might.