I remember the weird feeling after returning home from my last GCSE exam. It was mostly a feeling of relief but there was a new anxiety. I had dedicated all my spare time to revision, and found that conversations with family and friends were centred around exams. I felt a bit lost - who was I without the eleven GCSE subjects that I had been working towards? I couldn’t have told you my favourite movie or TV series because I just didn’t watch many. I didn’t play a sport or do anything creative. It felt like a lot of my personality was in my academic studies and interests. So I had to find who I was without school.
Over that summer and my time in sixth form, I have definitely made a start on that! When 2020 came and it was my A-level year, I knew I had to start really focusing and until a few weeks ago my life was totally geared towards exams. The week that the government announced the exam cancellations was the same week I received my mock results and I was probably revising more intensely than ever before. It was a shock and exams being cancelled felt like I was robbed of the work that I had done and all that I hadn’t done yet.
But after some reflection, I’ve decided to welcome this opportunity. When else in my life will I have nothing that I have to do? I’ve decided to read all those books I’ve bought but neglected for set texts, watch enough movies that I might understand some pop culture references, learn that language I never had time for, and listen to all the music my friends can recommend. In such worrying and bleak circumstances, I’ve recognised the immense privilege I have that I can use this time productively and I intend to do so!