I remember our final exams in secondary school as being a pretty stressful time, the culmination of six years worth of learning was to be crammed into one weeks worth of exams that would decide where you could go to college, and essentially which careers you were able to pursue. I studied a lot in the run up to the exams, staying back most evenings after class in the study hall revising over material and making copious amounts of notes. (which I promised myself I would burn, haven’t yet)
In my head I had a list of which subjects I would do well in, and which I would probably do mediocre in. Topping the list for me was biology, a subject which I had put a lot of work into, enjoyed greatly and had achieved good results in throughout my school days, in second place would be business studies which again I had liked since 1st year and had always got A’s or high B’s in.
I also knew that more than likely I probably wasn’t going to do all that well in Home Economics, because the course was so huge and diverse, it seemed neat impossible to revise all the information that would be needed to do particularly well. Another subject I thought I would only scrape a C in was English, not being a big fan of poetry and not being too huge into writing I rated my chances of achieving an A as somewhere between slim and none.
Well exam time rolled around fast, and before I knew it the first day of the exams was here, English was first, a 6 hour marathon that I was glad to get out of alive, but I knew that Biology was coming soon and then that’s where I would perform to my BEST.
I remember once the Biology papers were handed out I had an uncontrollable grin on my face for most of the exam I knew allll of this stuff, this was easy, and at the end of the exam I knew there was no way that I got below an a2 in it, I left the exam hall with a smile on my face and a skip in my step.
Conversely when I left the hall after my Home ec exam I was pissed off, REALLY pissed off, I had done terrible, the questions were horrible, and I just couldn’t answer them properly. As I walked down the corridor I kicked a bin to the ground and walked all the way home (eight miles). Ed was not a happy bunny.
Three months later the exam results came out, and I was not looking forward to them, not one bit. I remember getting the envelope and going into the corridor to find somewhere where I could open them on my own without people intruding on what were probably going to be disappointing results. With my heart racing I opened the envelope and looked for the subject that I had obviously done the best in… Biology…B3! I nearly burst into tears, I couldn’t believe it, I KNEW I had done better than that, and whats worse, if that was my best, what did this mean for the rest of my results. The subject under biology was business studies in which I received a B2, again a disastrous result. Then the two results that shocked me beyond belief: Home Economics….A2, English…A2.
Ed WAS a happy bunny. I got the points I needed to do the course I wanted and had learned some important things along the way.
The whole ordeal taught me two very important lessons,
Firstly placing a great deal of trust in your gut feeling about something is not a very accurate/sensible way of making an opinion/decision about something.
Secondly you can go ahead and make detailed plans of how you intend to get something all you like (I had each subject predicted to an exact grade) but you have to be prepared for this perfect plan to fall apart completely