Cambridge result day: Anxiety and paranoia
Today I woke up in a state of pure anxiety and paranoia – much like most people my age at this time of the year. I saw my Facebook was full of scared remarks, some overly confident statuses (that add a bit more to the depression), and a variety of prayers. I have found myself praying a lot more than I usually would; making an extra effort, hoping for anything that would work.
It’s the day thousands of students from Pakistan, and around the world mark on their calendars as D-Day. Cambridge O and A Level results are due today: Thursday, 11 August 2011.
I try distracting myself, trying to make the most of the time left, which seems remarkably little. Having seen all the movies on my hard-drive, and tried every possible distraction I realize I cannot fight what is impending. With the clock ticking, the countdown has begun, and all the talk is concentrated on the same topic. I find myself asking the same questions that many are wondering,
“What if I don’t get the result I want?”
“How will it affect me?”
– and of course –
“How will my parents react?”
I remember this experience from my previous year. The sleepless night before the result, the countless prayers, begging God and making deals with Him.
“I will do such and such the coming year, just let me have a good result.”
You receive text messages, some scary, some telling you special prayers, others wishing you luck. You feel the weight increase on your shoulders as you think of the expectations riding on the outcome. Then finally, the morning drive to school, walking past the gates, where a single piece of paper is waiting for you with your name, roll number, subjects and grades – a piece of paper that decides your future.
As you walk past the school gates, you see your peers, some with apparent glee on their faces; others shocked and disappointed. A few blame the examiner, syllabus, teachers and even complain about how hard the exams were. None are indifferent.
You wonder what your fate will be.
Will you join in the jubilation, or walk back with no words to speak? When you reach the office, extend your arm and receive that white sheet… you know this is what it all comes down to – years of studying, months of memorizing, weeks of praying – and it’s all on one sheet.
I don’t know what my result will be. But I can say (and perhaps most candidates) that the anxiety of results stays the same no matter what the circumstances: good preparation, great exams or low expectations.
So may lady luck be on your side today!
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