Other People’s Results Day

(specifically, my sister’s!)

I collected my A2 results last week (and blogged about it, of course), and there was plenty of hand-shaking, fist-pumping and back-slapping amongst me and my friends and teachers, all in an excited and relieved whirl, because I had my results, and I had done well, so screw you Conservative government. I didn’t realise the significance of my parents and sister waiting outside for about twenty minutes, without this knowledge, thinking of the very real possibility that I had failed and I’ve have to re-sit the year or just straight-up join the navy.

Today I was on the other side of results day for the first time, the standing-in-the-car-park-milling-about-praying-to-deities-you-don’t-really-believe-in side of things, and the waiting does kinda suck; the possibility of an epic failure is as real as the possibility of a great success, right up until you actually learn of the results.

And I don’t blame my sister for taking her time – God knows I did last week – but these different days did show me how easily people, especially myself, speculate on things; it doesn’t matter that the results have been decided days, and probably months, in advance, because until you get that letter, all outcomes are somehow equally plausible, as if those results aren’t yet determined and can be changed based on how you rationalise the exams and their revision. I know I did this too, fluctuating between days where I’d logically conclude I’d gotten three A*s, and days where, with the same rationale, I’d award myself two Bs and a C.

This is why I’m usually calmer than my friends when it comes to these results, off hours of elation or despair notwithstanding, because I got my results back in May, I just didn’t know it yet; for me, what’s scary about results isn’t learning what they are two months down the line, but the work that goes into them in April and May, and fearing at the time that I’m not going to do well. It’s illogical to fear something that’s been already determined, because you can’t change it, so I have panic attacks in May, and can relax for most of the summer.

Of course, with another person, this theory goes out the window; you can’t accurately judge how well their exams went, considering you don’t know their syllabus and their actual performance in the papers, beyond the ever-vague ‘it was alright’ that every teenager spouts to cover up everything from a total failure to a solid performance, and I was concentrating on my own exams anywho, as opposed to those of another person. Honestly, it’s a great relief to know that my sister did well (which she did), and ‘releif’ isn’t really how I’d describe my own results experiences.

I guess schools teach you stuff even after you’ve left.

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