Having just graduated, I had almost blocked out how stressful this time of year is for high school and sixth form students with the immense pressure that is placed on the younger generation. At this point it is implied, quite heavily, that what you achieve affects your whole future. And the sad fact is, it really does. I can’t help wondering why so much importance is placed upon the time you spend inn high school as a child and the two years of study between high school and university. If these results are so important why do we not allow you more time to study, strive and choose what you want to do? Because as well as ensuring you do earn the best grade you can, you also need to decide what you want do next.

Why are you told that in order to be successful you must study, remain in education and decide at such a young age what you want to do? A specific path is laid out for you and any other options seem obscure and incomprehensible because you think that they have to go to university. When, in actual fact, you don’t. It seems easy for me to say this, because I did go to university. But the difference between myself and many others is that I love studying, learning and reading; literature is my passion and I was certain this was what I wanted to major in. I have met many people who failed school, tried again and reached their goals. Many of my friends at university were mature students who at a later stage in life discovered that they wanted to teach. And, for me this is a real accomplishment.

Again and again young people are breaking down in tears, happy and sad, when they see their final results; because in that moment all their hard work comes down to a set of grade boundaries. One mark can separate a pass and a fail and this is the real shame. What doesn’t make sense to me is a system that can only reward those who did exceptionally well according to a system. If you put in 110% to do the best you possibly can, you deserve that back.

So, although some of you might seem disappointed in the results you have gotten or are yet to receive, you did your best and that’s all anyone can ask. If you got the grades you wanted, then that’s amazing and you should be really proud. If you want to go to the best university you can. If you don’t know that you want to go to university, then you don’t have to. You can do whatever you want to do, and contrary to popular belief there is no time limit to do this. The sky is your limit.


This is also published on my own blog: https://harrietoliviablog.wordpress.com/