Last year I arrived in my school's reception with a painful sense of dread that could only be described as the most nerve racking day of my life so far. Despite having found out that I had been already been accepted into university, I wanted to know if my hard work had paid off and if I got the results I so wanted. I envisioned a beautiful angel flying over the outdated port cabins of my school, and landing in front of me with a golden letter congratulating me on my utter genius - ness and general literary talents.
However the reality was that the pathetic fallacy kicked in, and the rain chucked down as I walked through the doors. There was no beautiful angel, but instead, a teacher that hated me just as much as I hated her, handed me a hideous brown envelope, with a fake smile that simply echoed the thought 'Thank god that loudmouth is out of here". I opened up the envelope, and examined the ridiculously small print, and all I could think about was why they had decided to write the results in the smallest font possible, as if our lives aren't hard enough already? After I figured out that I had not done as well as I would have liked, and I had completely missed my grades, I absolutely bawled my eyes out, in true teenager fashion, much to my parent's dismay. But I didn't have the worst experience, on results day there are thousands of teens across the country who find out that they won't get the place at their desired university, and they will have to undergo the seemingly difficult process of clearing or just flat out rejection. Although it can be a day of joy for some, it is a frightening day for the majority of students around the country.
But have no fear, social media is here to make that day even worse! I remember logging on to Facebook last year, and seeing people I knew writing their exact results on their Facebook status, exclaiming their joy to their 1000 friends and thanking everyone who helped them along their journey. I shook my head as I read annoying parents statuses of how proud they are of their little darling, they would include a picture of their results just to show everyone how amazing their child really is. Now I'm not sounding like a sour lemon here, because I, (once I got over my results), spent the whole day celebrating, but I did not celebrate on social media. There is nothing wrong with being happy for your hard work, everyone should celebrate, but there is a culture of over sharing that makes it all too uncomfortable for the people who find exams difficult. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with simply putting out a status with the name of the university you will be attending. But a line has to be drawn somewhere. I knew that rubbing it other people's faces does not help, that while I'm getting excited at my new student flat, there are friends of mine who know that they don't have a university to go to next year. And this year, as I look on as a first year university student, the same problem arises, and it's gotten even worse. I have seen grades all over my Facebook and twitter timeline, I've even seen the exact emails that UCAS have sent the candidate, as if we need exact proof?
Quite frankly, it's the parents that annoy me the most, they should know better. They should know that the worst thing a parent can experience is seeing their child distraught, knowing that they haven't achieved their dreams, but yet they feel the need to rub it in their faces every year on results day. People need to understand the hurt and stress that people go through on results day, many people have to go through clearing and choose a degree that they initially didn't want to study, or even some have to drive up and down the country pleading universities for places.
Social media can be great for many things, for awkward throwback pictures, for tweeting Katie Hopkins, for sharing vines with your friends, but it should not be for showing off. We have to be sensitive to other people's academic experience.
So lets get back to using social media for better things, yeah?