One of the biggest challenges faced by any and all youngsters today is the almost overwhelming prospect of failure. From the word go, the modern child’s life is a production line of tests, examinations, and assessments. While many people who are either currently in or verging on middle age might argue that ‘it was tougher in my day’, I am not disputing that. I am however, pointing out the challenges that I faced as youngster, and still technically do face.
As soon as you reach the age of 14, all British children start being faced with the prospect of GCSE’s. These are the first level of major educational qualifications. This is a daunting prospect, but all manage to overcome it one way or another. As soon as you feel the relief of passing the exams and start to unwind, you are faced almost instantly with the prospect of more exams. The dreaded AS and A levels. More tests, more assessments. It sometimes feels as if this system is trying to make you fail, so they can weed out the academically intelligent from those who are not. This is pure prejudice towards those who can afford a better education. And even those who can are not somehow magically exempt from the challenge of exams in the first place. Finally, when you have been through the grind of 2 more years of exams, you can apply to university. This in itself, is a nerve-racking process. Will you get in to your first choice of university? Will you get in at all? If you don’t what will you do? These are all questions that race through the mind of the applicant.
Assuming that you do get into a university, you are then faced with a more relaxing, less high pressure version of the same thing. More exams with the intention of weeding out those who can from those who can’t. This is the predicament that I currently find myself in. Hopefully, by the end of it all, I will have passed all tests presented to me, have attained my degree, and be settled in a (relatively) stable job. Do I believe that I can achieve this? Absolutely. Do I also believe that failure is a very present reality unless I work hard? Yes I do. If all happens as planned, then, and only then, will I exhale. Until next time.