Yesterday I got my first marks back for final year. I was excited, I’d really got this assignment. I’d worked hard, found super relevant theories and dare I say it maybe even kind of…enjoyed it!
I scrolled through the excel sheet of student ID’s waiting to find the string of numbers that had become my anonymous identity. It took a while and once I found it I wished I hadn’t. I stared open mouthed then burst out crying in the silent area of the library.
I’ve never had this feeling before, sure I’ve received disappointing results but I’ve always known deep down that I didn’t try, that I gave up and did the bare minimum. But this time I’d truly given it my all. No one ever talks about this feeling. Everyone always says work hard and you’ll reap the rewards. Well fuck you guys! I worked hard now give me my rewards, I’d like a first and a double tomato based pizza please NOW.
I’m gutted, but surely the mark of truly failing would be to give up now. To stop trying and to wallow in my defeat. I know what I want to do with my life, I’m proud of how determined I am and the goals I want to achieve. If I’m going to let a number stop me then clearly I’m not as passionate as I think.
I’ve had my night of wearily scrolling through motivational Instagram quotes, woefully singing along to Everything Everything (truly getting their lyrics of longing to be younger in a way no mortal has before.) It’s time to start working hard again. Because regardless of what degree I get I refuse to have the feeling of wishing I’d have tried harder, or knowing that I gave up.
It’s all about how you measure success. In the words of my ridiculously wise Mum, my degree is not simply a piece of paper. It’s how much I’ve learnt about myself, the volunteering I’ve done, the goals I now strive for, the independence I’ve gained, the love I’ve found and the wonderful friends I can never replace. All amounting to the woman I’ve become. That experience can’t be given a mark.