Nothing. That’s right, I said it. This is by no means an attempt to belittle the efforts of thousands of students, but I don’t believe that anyone should feel defined by their examination results, especially at the age of eleven.
Whilst the papers recently have been plastered with images of successful students – the top ten, the top one per cent, the remaining ninety-nine per cent seem to be swept up into the shadows. Yes, it is important to study diligently, and to enkindle a sense of scholarly responsibility from a young age, pressuring children to an obsession, to the point where many feel defined by the schools they were assigned is unhealthy. I’ve read of students in the past recounting how they would spend hours upon hours studying – and these are just the stories that manage to get published.
When you write these exams, the mere difference of a mark could cost you your ‘Ideal’ school. And whilst less-than-satisfying results are disappointing and discouraging, it’s not the end of the world. That mark is no way an indication of your potential. Everyone performs differently under exam settings, and everyone has their own struggles.
That being said, the exam is over. For the contented, and for the disappointed, understand that each high school has its perks and its shortcomings. No matter where you’re headed, it’s important to keep this in your head, how successful you will become depends solely on your attitude. Not on the prestige of the school, the colour tie that you wear, or even the teachers that impart knowledge to you. It all depends on you.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “We are all in the gutters, but some of us are staring at the stars.”
Some people are given the world of support – the best teachers, the best schools, yet amount to very little, and then there are some who have almost nothing and achieve the seemingly impossible. It may seem like a distant dream right now, further than a dusty planet on the breaches of the universe, but ultimate success is not unattainable, it just hinges on how determined and focused one can remain.
Give high school your best effort. All the strangeness and novelty of the environment and subjects quickly melt away into enjoyment. It’s a place for far more than traditional learning. It’s where we experience personal growth, discovering ourselves as well as the world around us. We make eternal friendships and irreplaceable memories. Memories which later in life will become so essential to us that we begin to understand we wouldn’t change a thing about our high school experience. It was ours. So go make yours! It won’t all be easy, but it will all be worth it.