Wednesday, 11 September 2013

2011 Exam success – off to university!

What would I have done if my grades hadn’t been good enough to go off to higher education? I honestly don’t know as I didn’t recall having a plan B to cover that eventuality. I suppose I would have had to trot off to the local Further Education College to do my resits?

However on Thursday August 18th 2011 I got my exam results. I was a mixture of pleased and relieved when I found out that I had got the grades I needed and knew for certain that I was going to be off to university as I had always hoped to do. I had needed 280 points, which was a BBC, and I managed to get ABB.

Exactly as had happened twelve months previously the Head of the Sixth form was lurking and clearly looking out for me when I arrived at school. I could tell by her broad smile that I didn’t have anything to worry about. She was very kind and made a special fuss of me knowing that I didn’t have parents outside in the car park or on the other end of the phone waiting for news. In the past I have moaned about how some school staff seemed rather casual or cruel in the things they did but they certainly all got 10/10 for the way they handled my results day.

All of my friends got the grades they needed and six of us went out for a celebration drink.  While I was at the school I saw two girls and 1 lad in tears so something must have gone wrong for them and I saw one parent having a real shout at a teacher, "Why didn't you warn us!!!"

It was disappointing that when I finally got home that I didn’t have anybody to share my exciting news. Nan and Granddad were away on a coach tour until Sunday and instead of taking the mobile phone and leaving the list of contact details they did it the other way round. The aunt and uncle who helped look after my finances both returned my excited phone calls between 5 and 6 which was better than nothing I suppose. The whole "telling the family" part of the day was rather an anti-climax.

Once I knew I was going to university there seemed to be lots to do in the month before the Induction Week! I had decided to rent out my family home (as inherited from Mum and Dad) because I needed the money to live on and it would have been silly to just leave the house standing empty. This meant I would be living with my Nan and Granddad during the holidays which, bearing in mind all that had happened before, was not ideal for them or me.

The Estate Agent came round a couple of times and it was agreed that the renting family were going to move in the week before my term started. This wasn’t ideal either. The man in the family that rented my house was a mature student at the same university as me who was doing a PhD. They signed up for a six months lease to start with and it was agreed that one bedroom in the house would have a lock put on it and some of my stuff plus some of Mum and Dad's that I didn't want to part with was going to be stored in there.

After a rather worrying few days in early September when it looked like they were wanting to postpone moving in until after Christmas I finally moved out of the house on September 4th so that they could move in on September 8th.
I said goodbye to the neighbours and explained about the house being rented out. One said "Do you need planning permission for that?”. I have never "fallen out" with the neighbours but they have never been particularly supportive either.

It wasn’t nice moving back in with Nan and Granddad. I knew that there wasn’t reliable internet access at their house and that I would have to go to the local library to do any urgent jobs. I tried really hard to stay positive because I knew that there were lots to things to look forward to - it was just that I never thought I would have to go to university parentless!



  1. I've read some of your posts. It must be a little cathartic posting about what has happened. Thank you for these posts because I appreciate you for being open. Also this helped me to think and appreciate what I have. I hope life is going well for you. Keep smiling x

  2. Thank you, Sally, for continuing to share your story with us. Brave and true. xo

  3. It must have been weird having a stranger in your house. Good idea keeping the important items locked away!

    Did you tell people at University straight away about your loss, or wait till you knew people a little better? It must have been quite hard with people saying 'I've never been away from my parents before'.

  4. Hello Lucinda - Both things you mention are going to form parts of future blog entries. The people renting the house or the estate agent (or both) somehow went into the locked room and looked through all sorts of personal stuff, just being nosey I expect.
    Yes it was tricky at the start when people arrived with parents in tow and I didn't!