It’s been 23 years since I picked up my GCSE results…and 22 since anyone asked me about them.
I’m sat here struggling to remember both the grades and the subjects I studied. I know for sure that I got 3 B grades and 7 C grades (otherwise known as “lucky sod!”), but I can’t remember the subjects I got a B in. I know Maths was one.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter. The point is, that on the day my results came in, it was the most important thing in the world. Nothing else mattered. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat; I was worried sick. It was as if my entire life hinged upon the little slip of paper I was about to receive. And, to be fair, it was the most important thing in the world…AT THAT TIME.
At that time.
Fast forward 23 years and here I am, sat at a computer, typing up a blog post for my work as a magician. Work that I need no formal qualifications for and that my Geography (grade C) GCSE doesn’t play a pivotal role in its success. I’ve just spoken to a lady who’s booked me for a wedding because she had seen me at another event and had a fabulous time. Sadly, they don’t give a GCSE for giving people a fabulous time (trust me, I’ve checked!).
Today, I rarely ever think about my GCSEs, A Levels (2 A’s and a B) or the 20 metre swimming certificate I got when I was 6. They were all stepping stones, all moments in time. At the time they seemed like the most important thing in the world, which is great, because it gives you the motivation to focus and try to achieve the best that you can, but, whatever results you get, you always move on. No results are ever so bad that they actually roadblock your path through life; there is always another way.
I hope that you and your loved ones all get the results that you want but, more than that, I hope you realise that exams don’t make you or break your ability to be awesome, just like trying (and failing) at anything doesn’t stop you being awesome.
We’ve all had moments when we’ve not been at out best and we want the earth to swallow us whole, but, with a bit of time, we move on. We learn, and we become better people because of it.
I always believe that we should try as hard as we can with qualifications, as better qualifications offer more opportunities but I feel that the real skill in life is daring to try new things, putting yourself out there and going for what you want, even though you know that you’re going to make mistakes and people will be there to say “I told you so!”. There is also no GCSE in picking yourself up and pushing on.
Besides, compared to some of these mistakes, you’re doing fine.