Results day; huddles of nervous students are crowded onto the playground eagerly awaiting the moment the double doors into the sports hall open. The letters printed onto a sheet of A4 paper will determine the futures of many of the young people gathered here; the difference between an A and B is the ticket into the University of their choice.
As we filter into the room we search for our names by one of the four tables; I follow the trail of shuffling teenagers to my right and, once reaching the front of the queue, am handed the piece of paper with my AS level grades.
I couldn’t bring myself to look at my results at first; I paced across the length of the tarmac before giving into the curiosity.
The feeling of disappointment overwhelmed any positivity about my collection of letters; true, they were all within the first four of the alphabet however I couldn’t help but feel that I could have done better.
‘Just do your best’, ‘you can only do your best’ are phrases I have chewed, swallowed and spat back out before every exam because honestly, your best isn’t always good enough; your ‘best’ won’t guarantee you a place in University.
So, this year I decided to take what I had learnt from my GCSE’s and give my all to these exams. I have always been a hard worker; I enjoy learning, revising and then achieving the results I know I deserve. I’ve spent hours post the school day making posters, flashcards and revision booklets as well as taking tests on topics I know I need more practise on. After completing all of my exams this year I felt fairly pleased with how they went, unaware of how they had actually gone quite the opposite.
The worst thing for me about underachieving is that I genuinely could not have done anything else; admittedly I didn’t spend every weekend revising flat out, I also have worked part-time for the entire year, but I used all of my resources, energy and time for my revision pre exams.
I am in a different position to the students in the year above me, my results this year do not hinder my chances of getting into University however they have completely knocked my confidence and have me questioning, ‘am I really good enough to complete this second year of study?’
I’m hoping now for some guidance from my teachers; having been an A/B student throughout the year I am struggling to see why my results do not reflect my work ethic, dedication or honest hard work.
True, my results do not define my intelligence; however I know that those three letters are the only thing between me and a place at University.
I am now heading into my final year of sixth form, slightly disheartened, a tad less confident but still focused on getting those top grades.
I strive to make my ‘best’ a little better this year and, with all of my time, effort and energy, am sure I can do it.
Saffron Hooton is an A level student currently studying English Language, Creative Writing, Biology and Spanish at sixth form. As an aspiring writer, she is passionate about crafting literary work in a range of styles, focusing on pros fiction and pros non-fiction pieces. Saffron enjoys reading in her spare time, which is scarce as exams draw closer, along with playing the piano and meeting with her group of friends. Saffron is considering a career in writing and hopes to continue her education further at university in the upcoming years. The mantra she lives by is to be content with yourself and your actions, in the least cliché way possible, as there are too many people out there ready to discourage you. Or in other words, as taken from the lips of Viola Davis in ‘The Help’, ‘You is kind, you is smart, you is beautiful’.