Its that time of year again when 18 year old's across the country wait impatiently for their A-level results.
It feels like this moment could define the rest of your life. You feel like some bad results will come as a crushing blow to your future that you will never recover from. The possibilities of University life look tantalizing and petrifying all at the same time.
Let me tell you what happened to me on A-level day in 1995 (I don’t look it but I am THAT old).
I failed badly. I got a “D” a “U” and a “N”. You ever hear of anyone else who got “N”? Me neither. Crushing failure.
I discovered that you cannot start a punk band in your last year of A-levels, develop a debilitating passion for beer, perfect the art of non-attendance AND never ever hand in any work and still expect to go to University.
I remember opening the letter and looking at the “grades” I’d got and realizing I had been a little bit stupid/immature/lazy. That feeling is burned into my memory.
I took two years out. Year 1 was volunteering for a church as youth worker and year 2 was as a volunteer in a homeless hostel.
My time volunteering in the homeless hostel helped me realize how ridiculously privileged I was and how easy my life had been up until that point. I applied to University as a mature student and got in by the skin of my teeth. Three years later I got a 2:1 in a degree that I worked hard for.
The moral of the story? Well, firstly don’t start a punk band two months before your exams start, but perhaps more importantly don’t worry about failure. Failure just means you need to learn a few lessons before you try again.
This story was first posted on Christ Church Manchester’s blog.