Well, it happened. I received my exam results, and I'm finally free from the stress of those dreaded exams, coming out with an honours degree (and that's about as much about that as I'll say online).
There's something incredibly relieving about holding the final transcript of exam results that I don't think I can effectively capture in a few words. Four years of lectures, essays, teaching placements and exams, all down to one piece of paper - and this one's not even the degree! But the little piece of paper I received today doesn't say much about my time in college.
Yes, it reveals how well I did in my final year modules. Yes, it says how well I did in my research paper (incidentally, it was the best result on the page). And yes, it says how well I did in my teaching placement. But it says nothing about the amazing friends I've made in the four years that led to this day. It says nothing about the conversations over tea and spirits, sitting together at a dinner table or dancing like everybody's watching and we're the sexiest people to ever walk in the doors of whatever pub or club we've found ourselves in when the occasion struck.
It says nothing about the final curtain of my first performance in Drama Soc, or the lights going up on my own play. It says nothing about trips across the city for competitions, or fundraising for an important charity. It says nothing about bake sales and lunch time masses and inflatable slides suitable for a child's party, parked outside the canteen.
It says nothing about the scandals or the romances, the fights and the make-ups, meeting new people and saying goodbye to wonderful friends.
The results are in, and they say so little about what four years in college actually means. This was an opportunity for me, provided willingly by my parents. They didn't doubt my decision to go to this small college they'd never heard of. They supported me when I told them I was going for Drama Soc auditions in first year, and they sat in the audience when The Rest is Silence sold out in third year. They allowed us to have friends down at the house, hosting a post-21st-birthday-party party.
When they arrived home from work today, the first thing I did was hug them. I can never say thank you enough to them for everything they've done for me over the past four years, including all the worrying and the anxiety they went through, hoping that things worked out okay. From making lunches to ironing shirts when I was on Teaching Placement, or picking me up from the college when rehearsals in Drama went on too long; from allowing me to be upset that one of my best friends would be leaving the college, to supporting my choices in what I'd like to study in a Masters course in the future; there are too many things for me to be grateful for, too many to name and too many to think of, and I don't see myself ever being able to express it to them how much they mean to me, and how much these past four years have meant to me.
A little piece of paper told me about my academic results. Nothing can accurately summarise the results of the past four years on my life, on who I am and how I feel and think. There just aren't enough words, and I think I'm okay with that.