So you’re walking down the street, it’s nighttime, raining. You’ve not had the best of days, one may even go to the hyperbolic lengths of saying it was “The worst day ever”. We get it, it’s been a bad day.
Water is splashing around in your welly boots and your collar on that coat of yours is hardly keeping the rain out, is it. Due to the insane amount of rain bucketing down from the heavens, next to no one is around. You’re alone, completely alone.
This is a metaphor for me. Or rather the ‘Charlotte’ of the past. Of course I’ve had people around me that I love and care for: My family, friends, partners. And to be honest with there hasn’t been a cloud following me as I walk through my life, rain persisting down wherever I was. But that’s the point of metaphors, get over it.
I reached that point I was so terrified about before, there’s no turning back. My A Level results came through. I had needed two A’s and one B. A motley bunch they were, two A’s standing out in the crowd (one I deserved and one a little more liberally given) and the remaining one C. One C? How did I.. What? How is a C possible? My self doubt was confirmed and although my place at University had been confirmed, the slight sense of doubt began spiralling out of control pulling me further and further into the depths of self belief. I felt weak at the knees, food as in order.
A cooked breakfast later, the doubt beast was tamed, satisfied with sausages and bacon.
Standing there with my results I couldn’t help but feel as if someone had upgraded me despite the self-doubt slipping in. From a penny piece to a ten pence, from brick to android, from mp3 to vinyl and I had levelled up in the game of Charlotte Rhodes vs. The World. And then I saw it, a darker corner in the world, because as I stood there feeling inflated, as if all the happiness had been drained, a friend of mine hadn’t been so successful.
It made me realise how much we depend on one piece of paper, how hard some try and purely how much it means to a successful teenager boy or girl. Many are please, some don’t care and some cared so much and didn’t quite make it for whatever reason. It ruined our day. How could I get in, the girl who could fit 30 grapes in her mouth, that licks her boyfriend in public to annoy him and the girl who spends Friday nights working or eating a burger in bed, get better results that the smartest girl in college? To see our friend be crushed by her own results because some anonymous person had marked her work and designated her to the fail pile effectively, only for her to be devastated in herself, is ridiculous. Exams don’t make you smart, they make you nervous, scared, “decreasing your performance.”*
My friend was lucky enough to go through the clearing process and get into the university she wanted attend in the first case, only reading in a different course. But the whole situation carried so much guilt and depression is still surgically attached to results day because of this. For a good 12 hours, a young adults self doubt was at an all time high and for what? She managed to get into what she wanted to do in the first place. The results didn’t matter.
So, that’s that. I’m off to Uni. I bought an iron yesterday. Do I need an iron? I don’t know but it seemed an adult thing to buy. I also bought non-iron bed sheets. Mother said they were both useful. Personally I think it’s a never ending cycle of pointlessness in which I’ll either use the iron on the sheets and they will become unhealthily attached to the iron, realising what they’ve been missing out on for so long or both the iron and sheets will continue to be arch enemies for the entirety of this year, gaining strength by numbers in other inanimate household items. But you could also argue that this is one of the reasons I’m moving so far away. Norwich, be prepared.
* Sexual reference –giggles-