So the day is approaching. The day that has you feeling scared, excited, anxious, thankful – the clichéd expression of ‘a roller-coaster of emotions’ has never been more appropriate. Tomorrow is the day when we discover whether the biggest commitment we have ever had to make so far in our lives is confirmed. Those three letters on that terrifying piece of paper hold the key to our fate. The final wait for Results Day is like final wedding day-qualms every couple experiences.
So we all know one girl who is going crazy with stress. She has turned into a soul-consuming, fire-breathing, man-eating stress machine. With every day that has approached she has gradually become less human and more a visible personification of an emotional wreck. She’s been baking cakes, making cards, re-organising her CD collection in alphabetical order and watching the Great British Bake-Off on repeat fifty times a day with a sign over her head that says ‘DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT COMING NEAR ME’ to deter any unwanted visitors. Rather than the dreaded Bridzilla, what you’re exhibiting here is the mighty Stresszilla – an unstoppable machine of human stress. Guaranteed to be fashionably late to pick up their results despite their efforts, watch out for these Stresszillas: they are guaranteed to cry on Results Day whether they’ve failed to get into university or not.
Rather than saying ‘congratutaltions!’ to the happy couple, people are saying ‘good luck’ endlessly to every nervous looking 16-18 year old on the street. These two words have become a religious mantra that needs to get repeated over and over and over in hope that your outward positivity will finally sink inwards.
Despite whether you knew from the second you lay eyes on your first choice university whether you wanted to go there or not, you’re beginning to if question uni is for you. Your reading list alone took you a week to read and do you really want to be eating beans on toast three times a day? The realisation of the commitment you have made has hit you like the 3,000 page theory book that is ‘essential’ university reading. And you thought the jump from GCSE to A Level was bad enough.
And don’t even get me STARTED on the Results Day after-parties. Heels? No heels? Dress? Skirt? No wait that’s too casual – better look in TopShop see if they have anything decent. But no, wait, you can’t spend £50 on a dress when you’ve still got to buy matching shoes, accessories and hair products. FFS, outfit planning is more stressful than the bloody day itself.
The average price of a wedding in the UK is £24,716 (apparently). University costs £27,000. Coincidence? I think not. The Tories are giving you away to three years of work, tears, own-brand tomato sauce and a future of debt – looks like the honeymoon will be a trip to the local pub then.
Whether you get your desired grades or not, remember that not everyone will. If you see anyone upset, go up and give them that much needed hug that they deserve. As if exams weren’t stressful, Results Day comes along and tries to strip you of your humanity and put an ill-designed letter on your existence. When ‘that annoying kid who cries because they didn’t get an A*’ breaks down in tears don’t mock them – take a moment to think how they feel. It’s a bloody sad reflection of our society when teenagers start crying because they feel that they’re a failure because they didn’t get 100%. In fact it’s a sad moment when anyone feels like their effort and abilities can be measured by a single letter.
You can no longer rely on mum and dad. You can do longer come home from a bad day at school to your mum’s speciality dinner and freshly washed linen and scented candles. You can no longer guarantee comfort. But isn’t that the excitement of it? University is a massive jump – massive. But it is a jump that is going to lead to the three greatest years of your life. If Results Day is the Wedding Ceremony, then Freshers’ Week is the Honeymoon; a time to have your expectations of what the next three years will be like heightened beyond belief until normality starts to settle in and the honeymoon-period calms down. You’ll be fresh-faced and naïve and you’ll probably burn a few slices of toast along the way. But it’s a new chapter. A time to do some much needed growing up – and I can’t bloody wait.
Let’s just hope the grades don’t jilt us at the final hurdle.
Words by Juliette Rowsell