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One student post-results day: "Nerves are universal, but, after the filtering of grades through personal abilities and expectations, everyone suddenly feels very individual"

 Lana Crowe, a sixth-form student at Raines Foundation in East London, writes:

The envelopes have been opened. The grades have been exchanged, the tears have been wiped and the parents have been hugged. Results day is over.
 
After a collective sigh is taken on the day, the pre-results sense of community is lost. Nerves are universal, but, after the filtering of grades through personal abilities and expectations, everyone suddenly feels very individual. The only thing left that everybody can discuss is the wave of relief that the day is over; even bad grades are better than not knowing.
 
What follows is a period of adjustment. You digest the fact that the moment you have been waiting for all summer is now a thing of the past. For me, the recipient of AS results, the year to come is calculated: work harder, revise longer, think smarter. But some will now feel the burden of having to re-evaluate their identity – to not being a medic, or an Oxbridge applicant, or a straight-A student. The very essence of what you thought about yourself is seemingly questioned because your use of a few key words doesn’t live up to AQA standards.
 
The Year 13 students on the other side of the hall offer a glimpse into the future that many aspire to. Although only three terms of teaching divide us, the blood, sweat and tears that the year entails makes your final results day seem a very long way off. However, it does help to remind you that only last year those jumping with glee over a university place secured were themselves wondering how they were going to get through the impossible 12 months ahead.
 
Results are discussed at such length on the day that you feel as though you never want to talk about them again. There’s mention of re-marks and re-calls, and the occasional reward for surviving your first year of A-levels (and still being up for a second). But the two remaining weeks of holiday will be education free and all the more enjoyable for that fact.
 
The apparent rite of passage that is results day teaches you just as much as the courses preceding it. You will have off days, and make mistakes, and won’t be punished for the rest of your life because of them – although it can feel like it. Results day came for me with the realisation that life does not go perfectly all of the time – and that’s okay.
 

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