It’s time for another Road Trip Wednesday. Yay!! Road Trip Wednesday is a meme hosted by the amazingly talented writer ladies at YA Highway. We all get in our cars and go visit all of our blog friends every Wednesday… well, not quite. We don’t get in our cars, but we jump on the Information Super Highway (heehee–in-joke for those who read my blog on Monday) and visit one another’s blogs. And we do so because we have all blogged on a theme, a theme set by the aforementioned bonnie lasses at YA Highway. Today’s question is:
How did you spend/how will you spend the summer after graduation?
All participants on this mad dash around the web blog their answers, post their links on the YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday article for today, and then jump from site to site to see what everyone said. You can join in too if you want!
As you may or may not know, I was raised and educated in the UK through my undergraduate degree, and we didn’t have such a thing as “High School Graduation.” We completed our O’ Levels (now called G.C.S.Es–for non-UK readers, O’ Levels/G.C.S.E.s = O.W.L.s), then if we did well enough we went on to 6th Form, did our A’ Levels (non-UK readers: A’ Levels = N.E.W.T.s), and, depending on our A’ Level results, we went to a college, a polytechnic, a university, or took our chances in the big world. So for the purpose of today’s RTW, we’re talking about that period of time after the last A’ Level exam.
The first post-A’ Level event I remember was my Ancient History teacher taking us out to the pub to celebrate (we were all 18, the legal drinking age in the UK). It’s possible there were other parties I went to–I don’t remember. But for most of the time, I hung out with friends, relaxed, and enjoyed the break from exam pressure. It was not totally stress-free, though. Results Day was coming in August!
I had applied to universities, and been to a couple of interviews toward the end of the previous year. All my choices made offers (i.e., “this is how well you have to do to get a place here”) of some kind–ranging from A’s in all my subjects, to barely a pass in a few. When I turned up at the school secretary’s office on Results Day, I knew where I wanted to go, and how well I would have to have done to get in.
I arrived about 9 am, which for a teenager during summer break is practically the crack of dawn. The adrenaline buzz outside the secretary’s office would have powered a small nuclear station. She opened her doors and had us collect our results in alphabet groups. They were on strips of paper, one strip per examination board, with a computer print out of the grade letter for each subject. I still have mine. I did well enough to get in somewhere, but it was touch and go with my first choice university. I didn’t have the letter grade, but I had the points. [Let me explain. Each grade is designated a point: A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 if I recall correctly. If a university required you to get an B in Maths, an A in Computer Science, and a B in Physics to study Computer Science there, but you got a C in Physics, a B in Maths, an A in Computer Science, and an E in General Studies, they might let you in because you had equivalent points.]
I hurried home and called the Admissions at my first choice university. They asked what grades I got, and I appealed to “equivalent points.” “Sorry,” the nice person on the other end told me, “due to demand, we’re taking exact grades only.” Disappointment! So, I started down my list of university choices. For the next, again, I didn’t have exact grades, but I had the points. “What was your Religious Studies grade?” the Admissions person asked (I had applied to study Theology). I told them the grade, and that it was my highest. “Not a problem. An information package will be in the mail, and we’ll see you in October!” Woo Hoo!!
The first term at Hull University started the first week of October (our school year consisted of three ten-week terms with breaks for Christmas, Easter, and summer), so for the rest of August and the whole of September I was getting myself ready for moving up to Hull, some 200 miles away. I spent time with my friends, none of whom would be in Hull with me, sorted through my stuff deciding what I couldn’t live without for 10 weeks, and tried to get hold of some course books (unfortunately we didn’t have a Diagon Alley that would cater to all my needs prior to arriving in Hull).
And that was my summer after “Graduation.” How would you answer the question? Blog an answer and join in the Road Trip Wednesday fun!