It’s that time of year again, RESULTS DAY!
The day that students nationwide find out how they did over the last year. I can barely remember mine to be honest but then I suppose it was a century ago! No in all seriousness, I can’t but I’m not sure why. Maybe I was that anxious my brain has kind of deleted it, or maybe I was incredibly chilled as at that point I was an “adult” and it didn’t matter? I’d do what I wanted any way and I had found the joys of alcohol and boys! Nothing else really mattered now I finally had a taste of freedom that many of my friends had had for a couple of years before me.
If I look back, yes I know I could have done better. Up until the last year I suppose I have given myself a hard time for “messing up” and basically living my life arse over tit. But, and it is a Kim Kardashian of a but, I didn’t mess up! I know that now!
It can seem like those results on that sheet of paper are your whole existence, crammed into a few grades. Yes, I know that for certain courses and futures, grades are important, to a degree (pun not intended but suitably amusing). The thing is, that sheet of paper is just 1 tiny fraction of who you are. If you have got what you need, CONGRATULATIONS!! That is truly fantastic and I wish you all the luck and success in the future.
However, here is the important part. If you haven’t, it might seem like it, but it is NOT the end. You are NOT a failure. You are NOT a disappointment. You are you. And in the words of Dr Suess, no one can be youer than you! You have so much more to offer than a few grades. There are always other options. There is always an alternative route. There are always people who will love and support you for WHO you are, not what grades you got.
OK, I got decent grades. I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Well except for have fun and do all the things that I felt I had missed out on growing up. So I basically just bumbled through life. Now I look back though and I think, these experiences, the job roles I have had, have all shaped me in some way. They have gave me skills that I may not have otherwise gained. My favourite part is the people who I have in my life though, because of these jobs. Hand on heart I am in touch with practically no one from school or college, apart from being “Facebook friends” maybe. Let’s be honest, I am certainly not the person they will have known either, looks wise and the rest (I like to think I have slightly improved with age!)
Bar Manager. Travel Agent. Business Support Officer. These are the roles I had. Good roles, for large organisations. I got there on my own merit and in some of them worked my way up from the bottom. I did that! NOT my grades at school. Me! Through hard work, through my personality, through wanting to do a good job and not letting anyone else in my team down.
But here is the best thing about my little education story, well in my opinion anyway. I am a 33 ( nearly 34) year old, I have a nearly 14 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. I have mental health problems – Depression and Anxiety mainly BUT I am about to embark on possibly the biggest educational challenge I have had to date. I am going to university! Yep, me!
Yeah I am concerned for various reasons but I have worked hard over the last year to get to this position. So what if I am in my 30’s? I think this actually gives me an edge. I have life experience. Jeez do I?! I am learning because I WANT to, not because my family or society EXPECT me to. I know exactly what I want the end result to be so I can focus and keep my eye om the prize. I know exactly what route I need to take. In fact I am as in control as I think anyone at this point could be.
Whatever happens at university though, I know now who I am. I am beginning to realise my self worth. All the things that have happened in my life have happened for a reason and I believe finally, despite all the pain, anger and suffering I have endured, I am on the right path.
You have to make mistakes sometimes to learn. You have to experience failure to really highlight to yourself what you want. Were you bothered that you failed at so and so? No? Then ask yourself if it was the right thing for you. Yes? Then you know that that is what you want and you start again! Life is not a computer game. There is no limit to the amounts of “Start Again”. Keep going until you get to where you WANT to be.
If you don’t know what you want yet, that is OK! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And certainly do not live your life for someone else. It is great that your Dad wants you to be a doctor, but, do you??
Age is but a number. Grades are but a letter/word. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be happy.
You may not be feeling what I am saying right now, but please keep it in the back of your mind. If you feel down, hopeless, worthless or upset, if you feel anxious and scared for the future, reach out for help. There will always be someone there to listen.
If things haven’t gone the way you wanted today, there is always tomorrow. Always a blank page. Always a Plan B.