14 Aug '14

News A-level results: a fork in a road that has lasting nostalgia

There is something moving about 300,000 A-level students beginning their voyage into adulthoodIt is difficult for me to resist a slight sense of envy for those anxiously awaiting A-level results this morning, although this may seem perverse. Many will have had little sleep, and what sleep they had may have been punctured by anxiety dreams. Some will be haunted by remembered exam howlers. They will be gripped partly with hope, as they picture a new life at their chosen university if they get the requisite exam grades, and partly with fear and uncertainty in case they don't.But in hindsight, that A-level results day conjures up the ultimate sense of standing on the cusp. For me, sixth form was wonderful but, like purgatory, a period of transition. You have been liberated from a high school authoritarianism imposed by both the institution and fellow pupils: deviation from conformity is rarely encouraged by early adolescents. Sixth form is often a time of being free to carve out your own identity, caring less about the judgment of others, but growing bored with the restrictions imposed by parental authority. In hindsight, both the excitement and fear of A-level day had much to do with the knowledge that a new era of independence was about to dawn. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
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