It’s A-level results day in the UK and #alevelresults2018 has been trending.
Many people shared the pressures on young students to perform well in their A-levels:
If you want to see how hard working, committed and scarily stressed 18 year olds are, have a wander on over to the #alevelresults2018 hashtag. These teenagers deserve a hell of a lot more respect than they are currently afforded.
— Victoria Anderson (@VFAnderson) August 15, 2018
Anyone whose exams didn't go to plan due to their mental health, remember: you did those exams to your full potential at the time, in the circumstances you had to work with. #alevelresults2018
— Georgi Lopez (@georgiealopez) August 16, 2018
honestly tried my absolute hardest for these exams and now I’m sitting up stressing over the fact that the grades won’t reflect it #alevelresults2018
— brooke🌻 (@brookehilll4) August 16, 2018
Meanwhile, others took the opportunity to critique elitism within the British education system:
Getting your A-level results? Remember Prince Charles only got a B and a C yet still went to Cambridge and is next in line for the throne. #alevelresults2018
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) August 16, 2018
Dear students, your A-levels aren’t so important. What matters most is that your parents have a house in London or the south-east in which to put you up during internships and then to use as equity for you to buy your first home. Don’t change your grades! Change your parents.
— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) August 16, 2018
Or I could just "do a Toby Young": fail to get the grades but have my dad ring Oxford to let me in anyway https://t.co/utDrtAYOWm
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) August 16, 2018
A spoof account for Tory MP Liam Fox decided to comfort anyone disappointed with their grades:
For anyone who doesn’t get the A-levels results they needed today, please don’t worry. I am a senior member of the Government with responsibility for reshaping the countries entire trade strategy and I have literally no clue what I’m doing. #alevelresults2018
— Liam Fox (@LiamFoxOnTour) August 16, 2018
Others decided to put things in perspective:
People getting your results today remember that in 10 years time when we’re all fighting each other for the last remains of the tinned rat meat no one will care about that D you got in English Literature. #alevelresults2018
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) August 16, 2018
If you didn't get the results you wanted, don't worry. Life is just a long miserable and ultimately pointless slog towards the grave, so none of this matters anyway.#alevelresults2018
— Matt Underwood (@MattU_Plym) August 16, 2018
As usual, the memes were out in full force:
— Scarl (@ScarlPay) August 15, 2018
Me: I did better than I thought I'd do!
Others: I got 4 A's!
— JackJack (@DoYouKnowDeWijs) August 16, 2018
— DΔΠ (@DanOnTwitch) August 16, 2018
— shaz (@shxziaa) August 16, 2018
But we are definitely here for the success stories:
— Suman (@repudiatixn) August 16, 2018
You can be poor, you can be black, you can be diagnosed with BDD, depression, anxiety and epilepsy while applying for Uni’s and studying for exams but nothing can stop God’s plan for your life!
My God is great and I am truly blessed because He loves me 😭❤️#Alevelresults2018 pic.twitter.com/lZVbQoXDHC
— Sekela ✌️ (@Sekela99) August 16, 2018
The elation I am feeling right now is incomparable! I worked so hard, I suffered so much with my mental health, and against all odds I can finally say I’m a university student! 😭❤️#alevelresults2018 pic.twitter.com/BlGbVSlIff
— Katie Racklyeft (@katie_racklyeft) August 16, 2018
— Daniella (@danithecactus) August 16, 2018
And to finish, there’s this well-placed reminder:
remember that a temporary setback is just that: temporary. disappointing results are not a reflection of your worth or the end of your journey. #alevelresults2018
— momtaza mehri 🤳🏾 (@RuffneckRefugee) August 16, 2018
The number of students receiving grade C or above has dropped significantly this year after the introduction of more intensive exams in England. And even for students with excellent grades, a combination of funding cuts to universities and an increase in tuition fees over the past nine years has meant that access to higher education is now harder to gain than ever.
Labour MP David Lammy has regularly criticised the elitism of Oxbridge universities and particularly their inaccessibility for Black and Minority Ethnicity (BME) students. Theresa May’s plans to review tuition fees, which were announced in February 2018, have also come under scrutiny for making a “two-tier system” rather than creating equal opportunities for all students. So while students have been under immense pressure to achieve the highest possible grades in their A-levels, unfortunately this may only be the start of another uphill struggle.
Featured image via Aaron Jacobs/Flickr