As a student about to sit my A Level exams which will decide whether or not I get my dreamed of uni place, I know this all too well. To give you an idea of my stress levels currently here is my current revision chart (Yep, I am that organised though I probably won't follow it!).
I spent hours on end looking on Pinterest and good ole' trusty Google today as any budding student would as I was determined to make this year much more pain free but to be honest, the more I looked the more worried I got. I mean we see countless of helpful hints and tips plastered across leaflets which our school nurse who hands them out over enthusiastically whilst telling us that exams don't really matter. Well, excuse me but did your qualifications to be a nurse just appear about of thin air?
Look, I get it. I know that what I score on an exam appear does not detail my worth. I am much more than that grade that is carefully documented ready to shipped out to all perspective unis, but.... do they?
How many times will I be turned down for a job application because it requires a degree? How many times have my teachers gone, 'Meg it's not one of your best' as they hand out my work with a great big red B written on the front? People tell me constantly that worrying will get me no where and at the end of the day all you need is experience. But how can I get that experience without the qualifications to prove that I am worthy enough for them to let me get my foot in the door?
The more I browsed at the hints and tips as I studiously read each article on Pinterest this morning, the more pressured I felt and, the more pressured I felt the more eager I was to read on. The cycle began.
And then it struck me. Society needs to stop judging my worth by my grades not just tell me to do so. Once businesses can look at an application and see no degree but see a beautifully intelligent and creative person who can do that job and give them so much more then, and only then, will I listen. It is a doubled standard hidden on the edges of every day life. Not obvious but always bubbling under the surface and effecting your hopes, dreams and goals. The average person in the street does not care. I mean, imagine if every conversation you started with a stranger began with, 'so what qualifications do you have and from which institutions?' rather than the beautiful awkwardness of saying hello for the first time. Yet, when our life story is confined to a piece of paper we allow it to control us, even if from the peripheries.
This has to stop but sadly, I know that it won't. Not until we can look one another in the eye as human beings and say we are equal and that the divides we build and the hierarchies we create with bricks, stones and paper are standing no more. Until then, I will continue to worry about what my little piece of paper says about me even though I wish I didn't.