At the beginning of exam seasons, a charity in Leeds called ‘Shout Out Leeds’, published a blog I wrote on how your best is enough….so I though that as tomorrow and next Thursday are A-level and GCSE results days (respectively), I would share with you the link, as I feel the message is important regardless of where we are with out educational journeys.
However, I also wanted to share a bit of my own story in this post, in the hopes it will ease any anxiety, guilt, disappointment or thoughts of failure which may accompany exam results- regardless of what grades you receive.
I sat my GCSE’s in the summer of 2009. I hadn’t been to school for coming up to a year, had spent 6 months in inpatient treatment and to make my stress that little bit worse, I was discharged from hospital the day before my first GCSE was due to be sat. I had more than enough reason to not get the grades I aimed to get, but when I opened my results I was filled with disappointment. they weren’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough- none of those thoughts were accurate, I had tried my best, whilst putting my health first and that WAS what mattered most.
I went on to 6th form and in true megan style, I was sectioned 6 weeks before my a- level exams were due to start. when exams came around and was decided I was to physically poorly to be able to do my exams and I was crushed. What was the point in recovery? everything I was working towards, my whole future was stripped from me in one swell scoop.
But, now I am 23. And this September I am planning on going to university, after returning to education last year and gaining the qualifications needed. Yes, most of my friends have their masters by now, however at 18, further study wasn’t what I needed. I needed time to experience life. Time to work out how to survive. Time to grow into myself.
At 18 I felt the world might as well end. Now at 23, I’m glad I wasn’t able to go to university 5 years ago, because although life hasn’t been easy or straight forwards, I’m now at a stage in my life where start to work towards my dreams once more and actually succeed.
You are not defined by exam results. Whether you didn’t get the grades you wanted or that you were unable to sit exams this summer, its going to be ok! You are more than a few letters on a piece of paper. Education will ALWAYS be an option that you can return to at any point. What is important thought is you health, your kindness, your resilience, you courage and your ability to grow.
So good luck for tomorrow ( or next Thursday) and whatever your results are, be proud of yourself. You did the best you could in that moment and that’s all that matters. So regardless, treat yourself with some kindness and remember everything happens for a reason. Yu have options which extend much further that a few letters on a piece of paper.