This past week and the coming week are probably some of the most stressful days in the lives of teenagers as they await their A & AS Level results and GCSE results. It's a worrying time for them and their families; For 2 years they have worked hard in school, doing homework and coursework, revision and finally their exams. Now they await the results to see if they have they done enough to proceed to the University or College or Sixth Form they want to go to and or will there be a place at other Universities and other courses? In the past few days I have met with some of my cadets who are waiting to see if their results are good enough for entry into Wellbeck College, the Defence Sixth Form for the future Officers within the military. One of our cadets is very confident he has done well in his GCSE's and the other, she is not so sure - I'm certain that there are many students in exactly the same situation as them. For some the results day will be a great day of achievement for some it may be disappointing, a time to take stock are reassess what the future will hold. To the former, I offer my warmest and sincerest congratulations, to the latter—it is not the end of the world.
I remember the day when I got my A Level results. I was ushered into my Headmasters Study, and sat behind his huge desk, he looked at me and uttered the words, "Gamble—you got nothing." I may not have received successful grades in my exams, but he had no idea what I had personally achieved in my 7 years in Campion School. I then realised it was not the end of the world, I had to re-evaluate what I wanted in life, and continued to live the dream. Consequently 18 years later on the day I was ordained, there was no-one more prouder than my Headmaster, Mr. Kennedy (after my dad of course!).
For those who receive the grades you wanted, congratulations. I hope Sixth Form, university or college life will be a great time for you. And for those who may not have the grades required, do not panic or worry. Don't rush into a decision, take stock of what you have, take advice and plan for the future, as you do have a great future ahead of you.
And in everything that happens, remember the Lord. He is the one who has given you the gifts of knowledge, learning and understanding, of wisdom and discerning and loves you whether you have got your grades or not. A £20 note looks lovely when it is fresh and crisp, but not as nice when its been battered and used considerably. But it still is worth £20. In the eyes of God and all of us, you are loved and valued just as much now as you were before you got your grades!