A Level Results Day: Glass Half Empty?


A Level Results Day has to be one of the most surreal and confusing days in a young person’s life.

A Level students nervously open their results

There are the sleepless nights in the run-up, and the terrifying Night-Before, where you might desperately watch comedy films and shows to try and distract yourself, or eat your bodyweight in chocolate to console your butterfly-filled stomach, and then there it is… The one day your whole school life has essentially been leading up to. Even if you don’t want to go to university, it’s a big deal.

You’ve spent the last few months running over your exams in your head: what if I didn’t show my working? I chose B as an answer 6 times in a row, surely that can’t be right?Did I even answer the questions in the right language?

Students can wait months following exams before finding out their results
Students can wait months following exams before finding out their results

You’ve probably undertaken the never-a-good-idea discussions with your friends following your exams to see if you put the same answers.

You’ve mulled it over in your head, just wondering what will happen on that Thursday in mid-August.

And for some, that day can be one of the happiest you’ve experienced. Fortunately for me, I was able to get into Southampton University. Of course, sadly for some, it’s not always what they want, but there are so many options out there, and so many people around to help you out.

However, it was coming home on a total high, and popping on the radio in the hope of hearing some exciting results stories, that I was met with the news bulletin:

“A Level Results: Dip In Top Grades”.

This is unfair to students everywhere.

Specifically for me, the subtitle on the BBC News article was  “Languages disappointment”. I am beginning my French (Linguistic Studies) course this September, and I and many other linguists I know achieved B-A* grades in our languages, making it feel like a very unfair representation of linguists across the country. I understand that sadly not everyone did so well, but I feel success should also be acknowledged in the news.

We already have to deal with the confusion of the press suggesting that when teenagers do badly, we aren’t working hard enough, and when we do well, our exams were too easy. Now we have  to contend with the constant comparisons to previous years. If anything, it probably is harder to get into university these days, as so many more people are applying,  meaning more competition. So wouldn’t it be nice, at least just for the actual day, to celebrate all the people who got what they wanted, or nearly what they wanted, and can’t wait to be off to university or a job or an apprenticeship? Even if they decided to publicise that apparently we aren’t all doing as well as we should, couldn’t they wait and let us enjoy our celebrations for now?

So to every student who just got their results recently and is now starting their journey into the rest of their lives, congratulations, you did what you came here to do. From nursery to now, I hope you nailed it.

A Level students celebrate their results
A Level students celebrate their results



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