Dear Diary

August 20, 2014

Education anxiety.


Tomorrow, I will wake up at 8:30 AM. I will shower and get dressed, probably apply some makeup to my ashen face. Next comes half an hour of full-on panic, after which I shall leave my house and walk for about 15 minutes, finally arriving at school.

I will wait outside the school gate for my best friend, Sophie. When she arrives, we will join 200 or so other 16-year-olds lined up in the hallway. As each of us gets to the front of the line, we will be handed a brown envelope with our name on it. I will stare at mine for a long moment before stuffing it into my bag.

Sophie and I will make our way back to my house, more anxious than ever. My mother will smile and try to joke with us. We will laugh nervously. Sophie and I will then go downstairs, retreat into separate bedroom, and open our envelopes.

Inside we will find the results of the GCSE exams we took a few months ago. This is a terrifying prospect, as we have spent the past five years being reminded over and over again that “these exams will shape your future” and that they “can change your lives.”

When I emerge from that bedroom, there will be tears and hugs. I’m hoping they are tears of joy—then I’ll hug my parents and Sophie and will feel happy and proud. The other possibility is scary and sad: They will be tears of misery, and hugs of condolence.

Fingers crossed. ♦


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  • queen_of_disaster August 20th, 2014 7:40 PM

    Oh me oh my! Ananda, I hope all goes well/went well after the news of your exams. I’m *crossing* my fingers for you. xoxo

  • LarkAscending August 20th, 2014 8:12 PM

    I have been avoiding actually going to bed for some time now (it’s one in the morning), knowing that this strategy is ultimately unhelpful, as I’ll just be more tired tomorrow and less able to deal with the contents of that terrifying brown envelope (good or bad) — but I’m still continuing with it, evading being alone with my fears for a little longer. Still, I know I will have to switch off my laptop (aka my prime distraction) soon, so I just searched Rookie for “exam results”, hoping for some helpful article. Rookie didn’t disappoint. (Thank you, Ananda!)

    Best of luck to you all, my fellow results-getters. I hope that the grade boundaries worked out, and that that exam you thought you’d failed turns out to be an A*. And that, even if it doesn’t, you will still be OK. People tell me that there is still life after GCSEs, after all.

  • doikoon August 20th, 2014 10:22 PM

    Sending supportive vibes to you Britney and thanks for what you said about self censoring, it was a really good reminder.

  • honorarygilmoregal August 21st, 2014 12:52 AM

    Congrats Lilly for successfully lobbying to get your schedule changed! Never give up :)

  • Elsary August 21st, 2014 2:26 AM

    Lots of hugsand support for you, Britney! School here has started already, and I had kinda same feelings that you did. Just try to be happy and believe in yourself. It’s hard, I know.
    Lilly, that was really such an inspiring and strength-giving diary! I’m happy it all worked out, and I made a promise to remember this whenever I need to.
    And fingers crossed, Ananda! Hoping for the best!

  • DymondMag August 21st, 2014 6:39 AM

    your post really resonated with me Britney. I constantly mould myself to make other people less uncomfortable (not that I know they would be just weird me overthinking I guess) I’ve been writing myself little manifestos and reminders around the place like ‘don’t be afraid to take up space.’ Hopefully I’ll actually listen to my own advice.

  • nnora August 21st, 2014 9:42 AM

    WHAT HAPPENED?! Hoping everything went well.

  • mothcub August 21st, 2014 10:22 AM

    I remember the anticipation of results so well and I just want to say that it’s not necessarily as big of a deal as it seems. I failed my maths and English GCSEs (the only ones I NEEDED – also, English was my best subject, so that was a surprise) but I retook them at college and ended up with the same number of a levels as everyone else in the same time period because taking two GCSEs and one AS in my first year of college was a lot less work than like HUNDREDS of GCSEs that they make you do in school. Also the fact that I was slightly older made everything much easier.

    Really though, try not to worry too much, you can always retake, and life surprises you a lot (in a good way) when what you planned doesn’t happen.

  • rachelturtlebaum August 21st, 2014 10:42 PM

    You go Lilly! And best of luck to you, Ananda!