Eight things I wish I'd been told on A level results day

This is not me on A level results day. But I am jumping in the air.

1. They don’t matter nearly as much as you think they do.

How important do your results feel to you, right now? Right, now take that amount, divide it by three, half it, chip off another bit for good measure, and that is how important they actually are. And I’m saying that as a 25 year old. By the time you’re 80, those results will probably look like a little speck of lint that you flick off the rich, eventful canvas of your life.

Except for this week, and the odd smug tawzzock who will ask you during your first uni term, you will almost never talk about your A level results again. Which is a shame if they’re quite good and you were going to have them screen printed on a t-shirt, but never mind.


2. That teacher you just accidentally hugged?

It’s fine, nobody saw.


3. You will forget almost everything you learned for those exams.

In years to come, little nuggets of isolated information will resurface, but never quite when you need them. As a result you will spend much future time hunched over pub quiz tables, pummelling your temples trying to remember which was Crick and Watson and which was Loftus and Palmer and just how many hours you spent writing those multicoloured revision cards anyway.


4. Everyone will be fine.

Those who didn’t get the grades they wanted, will be fine. Those who did but have no clue how they want to use them yet, will be fine. Even the one who had to be excused from the English Lit paper because of a badly-timed stomach upset, will be fine.


5. University will also be fine.

Chances are, it will be brilliant. Don’t spend the fortnight before you leave weeping into a pillow, because it will be tiring and futile and you will miss all the good drinking occasions.


6. You are now a grown up, but you don’t need all the crockery yet.

Far be it from me to deny you the ritual trip to the big Tesco Extra with your misty-eyed parents, but if you buy all the crockery and cookware now, in eight months time you will be packing up two forks and half a bowl, cursing everyone you’ve just spent three terms frantically bonding with. Just buy some Pot Noodles and make do.


7. You’ll stay in touch with your friends, don’t worry.

Because it is 2006 and in a little over a month, this great new thing called Facebook will enter your life and suddenly staying in touch with people you love will be easier. Unfortunately staying in touch with people you don’t love will become a whole lot easier too.


8. Don't let anyone, especially not a local newspaper photographer, take a photo of you leaping in the air.

You're better than that.