The time is 7:59am; the date, Thursday 17th August 2017. A Level results day. The UCAS portal opens at 8:00am.
There follows approximately 39 seconds of sitting in bed contemplating whether or not I even want to check and 21 seconds of frantic prayer. With my laptop open and my hands in full keyboard warrior mode, I launch myself into UCAS track.
As I open the screen, my heart sinks.
‘Unfortunately you’ve not made the offer to secure your firm choice, but your insurance choice has offered you a place.’
I feel numb and somewhat unsure how to function. I close the laptop, place it under my bed, and roll back under the covers.
You know it’s a serious day because George (also known as my father) leaves the house for the second time that week to drive me to get my results. For a man who lives in his pyjamas, I must admit this is quite remarkable.
Driving me to my sixth form at the speed of a spoon dismantling cheesecake, missing four red lights, and nearly hitting three grandmas, George is a man on a mission who can’t be stopped.
When I see that it was my maths grade that let me down (maths, if you’re reading this, I still hate you), my mum hits me with the classic, “So what did you get?” My mind suddenly darts to what my funeral is going to look like and the method she is going to use to kill me.
Fortunately, the woman lets me live and I’m able to review my insurance offer. Turns out my insurance offer is for a foundation course, which isn’t what I want to do.
After being rejected by multiple universities, Heriot-Watt becomes the first uni to offer me a place and I accept the offer with open arms, just so happy to be going to uni.
My sixth form staff are very prompt and supportive, and I can’t thank them enough because if it wasn’t for them I don’t know what I would do.
Fast forward two years and several haggis butties later, I now know that it was all meant to be. I’m in love with my course, have met the most amazing people, and the lady on the phone who offered me a place at uni actually turned out to be my personal tutor in my first semester of first year.
Plus, the joke’s on those who consider clearing to be a negative thing. Edinburgh is an eight-hour train ride away, yet Oxford is only a two-hour journey. That’s six hours less time at home for me, which means six hours less of doing chores and washing dishes.
In addition to this marvellous avoidance of chores, the four years that this Scottish course offered instead of the usual three gives me another year to use my student discount to the best of my God-given ability.
Moral of the story: no matter what happens, everything always works out in the end. You are not your results, and it’s important to understand that your grades don’t define you!
Also, I want to give a quick shoutout to my parents for not executing me that day so I could live to tell the tale.