It's results day. Some of us are punching the air, some punching our teachers, others sliding into corners to cry. For those of us in the first category (thankfully, including myself), it's a day of celebration. Two years of hard graft come to a head.
It's on the front page of all the papers: results up again. 20% of all grades A or higher. And every single one tuts about the state of the nation's education and how the exams weren't so good in our day.
Seriously. Fuck you.
We slaved our arses off. As far as stereotypes go, young people don't have it so good in the media. If we're not beating up fathers-of-three and filming it on our phones, taking crack on street corners, binge drinking and filling up emergency departments, we're playing violent video games and stabbing each other. And on the one day when we come good, we do well, we get the chance to show the world that hey, we didn't do too bad. No, we did outstanding. We blew last year out of the water. Give us some credit!
Believe me. The exams aren't easy. Oh, it's coursework these days, you say. That ain't easy either. Especially when it's for 11 subjects at once. Talk to a school year and you will find over half the kids stayed three hours after school to finish something; a good portion came in on weekends. Nor are the grade boundaries light. It's 80% for an A in most subjects, 90 for an A*. In some that's 90 and 97.
I challenge anyone who says the exams are too easy to sit them. And then do all the coursework as well. But before you do, let me tell you this. Discuss the merits and disadvantages of our education systems all you wish. But do not imply that our grades mean nothing. That our hard work was meaningless.
To those who do, allow me to repeat: