Charlotte Linham’s Results Day Experience
August 13, 2020
GCSE Results Day 2013: I don’t ever remember being nervous about my GCSE results in terms of grades – I’d enjoyed the two years and my parents were always telling me as long as I did the best I could, it was fine. I ended up doing pretty well, and the most nerve-wracking part was going to the school hall to collect them and there being some kind of weird tension. It was broken when you got your results, but because nobody had ever done it before and we didn’t know what we were doing, it just created this very nervous atmosphere. My friends all did well too, and so we spent the rest of the day hanging out and enjoying ourselves. I already knew I was going to go to sixth form and had a pretty good idea of the subjects I wanted to take (in hindsight, I should not have picked all three sciences and maths).
A-Level Results Day 2015: I was predicted reasonably high grades, and I’d been revising for months – when I sat the exams, I knew things probably weren’t going to go my way. I was pretty devastated when I realised that even though I’d done everything I could, I wasn’t ‘clever’. School didn’t open until 10am, but UCAS released your university offers around 8am – so I knew I hadn’t got into my first choice, but I had got into my insurance. A lot of tears ensued as I’d built up my first choice to be the only mark of success, and it really affected the way I thought about myself. I went and got my grades and slowly came to terms with the fact I hadn’t done as well as I thought. I remember having a conversation with a friend when we were out that evening who said ‘well, you’re going to show them exactly what they’ve missed out on!’, and it’s something I’ve remembered ever since.
I had two very, very different experiences on my results days. One was pretty great and the other was not so much. I ended up going to university and doing my bachelor’s and a post graduate diploma and I did very well in both. Over time, I learnt that no grade is worth burning out over, and your grades are not necessarily a reflection of you, your intelligence or your academic potential. I’ve always known the kind of path I wanted to go down but even so, it changed over time. It wasn’t until I got to the third year of university that I truly knew what I was going to do. The most important things to remember are don’t think about what anyone else is doing – focus on you; let yourself feel whatever you feel, and there is always a different way to get to where you’re going. You have time to figure it out!