At my book launch last year I was given several bottles of pink champagne, however I have resisted opening them because they were so special and reminded me of that amazing day. A worthy occasion arrived on Thursday, however, when I collected my long anticipated A-level results. It was time for the pink Piper-Heidsieck to come down from my shelf.
I have been enjoying my long and relaxing summer, however results day has been a constant shadow at the back of my mind. Luckily I had done well at my AS levels so already had enough points to get into university, therefore the wait wasn't filled with the same kind of nail-biting nerves that many of my friends experienced. Instead it was more about personal achievement, about all my hard work paying off and about proving that although I'm not going down the Oxbridge / Russell Group University route that I am nonetheless capable of working hard and reaching my goals.
10:00am Thursday the 19th of August and the results were available to collect from my school. However, I wasn't there. Instead I got a phone call from my mum: "I have your results in my hands, are you sure you want to wait until you get home or do you want me to open them?". At this point I was at my friend's house in France, about to head home after a week of sun and distracting myself from the prospect of opening my exam results. I decided to wait until I was back later that afternoon. In fact, as soon as I stepped off the plane I was greeted by the open arms of my mum, and a brown envelope. I opened them there and then at the airport.
Inside was a piece of piece of paper - no piece of paper has ever made me quite as happy - because this piece of paper told me I had got an A and 2 A*s. My mum quickly presented me with this beautiful pink card - she said she had bought it ages ago because she just knew I would do well. I think knowing my mum has such unwavering faith in me was in fact just as lovely as getting the results I wanted (but would never have expected).
Throughout the day news from my friends kept coming through, and although I was obviously over the moon about my own results, it was news from my friends whose places at university depended upon their grades that really made my day. When my best friend told me she had got into her first choice university after a morning of worries that she hadn't quite got the grades she needed, I cried. Then another friend told me she had got her place at Cambridge (the same college as my sister) and the floodgates opened again. In the evening it was down to the pub where nearly my entire year group had come to celebrate. The more friends I met, the more hugs we exchanged as the good news kept coming. Looking around at my friends, smiling and excited about their futures, I felt so proud and overcome by emotion that I had to sit down - I could feel myself close to exploding / collapsing. These results marked the end, but also the beginning. And it is for my beginning, and all the exciting beginnings of my friends, that I am so happy and excited for.