The British have an obsession which casts a shadow over most other nations in the world. This obsession strikes roughly twice a year. On these days most of the nation stops… a pause in the wind of time, caused usually by worry. On these same mornings newspaper Journalists spend their time phoning up their agreed contacts to see “how they are doing”. The cynical part of you may suspect they hope for a shaky response fearing for the future. When really this begrudged Journalists is simply waiting for that positive response to write his article – infamously titled ‘Why A Levels are Getting Easier’ or ‘Government Selling Degrees to Hopeless Students’. Yes, America is quite keen about exam results as well but their patriotism casts the obsessive baton of academia to Britain.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no trouble with education, no trolling of any particular type but I do believe this country has fallen subject to hype. There is no doubt in my mind that education is the foundation for every society. If education isn’t then it should be but inevitably education still is. People must know how to operate within society in order for society to be financially, socially and ethically feasible.
Do you remember fellow students from your secondary school? Particularly the ones who couldn’t help but voice ‘What is the point?’, ‘When will I need to know DT?’ or ‘French is so pointless’. Even with the ways that some rejected the idea of wearing a suit in the sixth form as ‘people in the working world don’t need to wear a suit’. Of course this statement is partly correct – suits in the modern world are only worn by those going to an interview or visiting a client. What these teenagers at secondary school failed to realise is the pattern. All those who couldn’t see the point of certain subjects, wearing a suit, usually end up stuck when tackling the career ladder. Some subjects may appear pointless at the time but you never know what will happen. In my opinion, the problem isn’t their academic success but usually one’s ability to focus on a task. Once you have learnt the art of concentration you have won the game of life because you have determination to see tasks through.
If I had to think of a subject I despise. A subject which has haunted all my years in education. A subject which still makes my eye quiver uncontrollably, then it would be maths. I’m no longer so brash to say that ‘maths is pointless’. If anything maths is probably one of the most useful subjects to know other than the study of your mother tongue. Over the years I have had so much support with maths and I would not have achieved a C for GCSE maths without the help from family and teachers.
By rights my mathematical journey should be over. It is fair to say that I should never be entered into a role laden with equations. Yet I have found myself working for Microsoft dealing with multimillion Euro campaigns. If I make a mistake then I could technically ruin yearly financial forecasts, risk jobs, client relationships, etc… I won’t continue with that list because it frankly scares me!
What I am trying to conclude with is a word of advice. GCSEs, As Levels and A levels are stepping stones. Important ones. Although in reality a bad grade doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your life and potentially a good grade may eventually cause a career far less exciting. The world is not logical, it is actually fairly random and due to this – exciting. So fear not about the future “to be” freshers or confused students who wish to enter straight into the “real world”. You have everything ahead of you. Aren’t I good at optimism?
In education the meaning of success usually means a good job and salary. In reality everybody has a different idea of what success is. Some are at University wanting that high salary, that dream job but equally some would rather have a settled life with a family of their own. Don’t purely rate education has the means of all success because it isn’t true. Worry more about how you are spending your time – not what your next grade will be.