The Olympic optimism has been lost on Britain already. Thousands of young adults across the country collected their A-Level results today and as they anxiously opened their brown envelopes, they all knew their lives were about to change. Life changing events are often intimidating and this is the first major one for a lot of young people as they enter adulthood, which undoubtedly adds to the occasion and increases the tension. Tears are shed, smiles beam out, friends console and congratulation each other, and everyone thinks about what lies ahead – regardless of whether it is considered a step forward or back. That said, why is the primary spin on the story that the amount of A grades is less this year than it was last?
If there was a substantial shift in the percentage of A grades achieved across the nation then it would be an understandable cause for concern, but when you consider that it is a mere 0.4% difference you have to wonder why this is the direction major news outlets are taking. Why are we highlighting a negative aspect of the event that is so small, it is barely worth mentioning at all? Why are we not trumpeting the number of you adults who have worked hard all year and got into University? It is almost as if the powers that be want us to be unhappy.
The subtle suggestion behind this headline is that students this year are either dumber than the ones who received their A-Levels last year, or that they simply didn’t try hard enough. Maybe we should consider the possibility that young adults have been demotivated by the Governments decision to raise University fees, if there is in fact a consensus that they didn’t try their best.
Maybe it is in our nature to be as cynical as we are critical but with so many people making the bold decision to go to University, combined with the lengths they have gone to in order to get there, is it not rude to be taking this moment away from them right now? The statistics of it all should take a back seat to the praise and admiration of the country for its next generation of University students. If anyone out there would truly rather talk about how there are a few less A grades this year than how proud they are of students getting into University in the first place, they need to take a good long look in the mirror. Wouldn’t it be nice if just for once on results day the headlines read: ‘Congratulations to all the future University students across the country’?