For me it was one of the worst days of my adult life, I think I cried for pretty much the whole day. I remember picking up the results and being devastated, going outside and bursting into tears then being passed from one friend to another as everyone else got their results. I somehow made my way home and I can’t remember how I passed the day but I then recall sitting in the corner of a dark night club till the small hours wondering why the hell I had bothered going out to watch everyone else happy and dancing! I am still not sure how much of the failure was down to me being lazy and how much was poor teaching and preparation on behalf of some of the teachers, I have stopped worrying about it now!
The following day I managed to speak to my second choice university and they were happy for me to take the place despite my results being a bit the wrong way round, which was a bonus, and the stress began to subside, but the disappointment remained.
Of course in the long run of things, it doesn’t really matter at all really. I went off to university, got an OK degree, worked part time during the holidays, got life experience and job experience. When it came to applying for jobs, I was a confident individual with good education and I had worked – I am sure once you have that degree no one really cares about your A Levels. I got a job in an area that I loved, I trained on the job, I got more life experience, I became a manager and I learned many new skills and grew as a person. Then at the beginning of this year I set up on my own running a Heritage and Training business – using the skills I learned over the last 15 years.
A Level results day always makes me smile as I have spent the last 13 years working in the Heritage industry, I have written and researched numerous guidebooks, exhibitions and projects, delivered talks and training. Part of my current job is leading walks on local history and history was the subject I failed on that fateful day of sorrow back in 1998. Just goes to show that the results aren’t everything, but they are a stepping stone to get to where you want to be. For anyone getting results today, use them how ever you want to and enjoy where they take you.
Dedicated to Grandma, who on A Level results day 1998 told me “Everything happens for a reason, you just can’t always see it from where you are standing” – She was right!