Family life, Latest articles, Uncategorized

A letter to my son on the eve of his GCSE results

Dear Harry

Tomorrow is the most important day of your life – except it’s not. 

It feels like it is, and it feels like the culmination of every single thing you have ever worked for in your entire life. 

Twelve years of hard graft, of homework, tests, projects, reading, more homework, more tests, choices, course work and final exams.

Your exams were tough. I watched as you left for school every day, exam after exam coming home pale and tired and heading back to your room for more revision. 

I know it was hard – I saw it in you. 

Remember this though, tomorrow is only the result of how well you can perform academically and that is it. 

Is that important? Yes of course, but it is not everything. 

If you do well tomorrow, which I have every faith you will, it will open doors for you. It proves you can retain information, understand concepts and thrive in pressurised situations like exams.

What it will not do is show who you really are and what you are truly capable of as a human. 

It will not show you are articulate, confident, can use your initiative, be diplomatic, understanding, show kindness when needed and hold your ground if required.

It will not show that you can rise to a challenge, be passionate about an issue but at the same time considered and level-headed.

It will not show you how to contribute to society, be of service, develop as a person and form fulfilling and worthwhile relationships with those around you. 

It will not give you a deep understanding of what truly matters in life and what is meaningful to you and you alone. 

THE most important day of your life is the day after tomorrow and the one after that and so on.

Those are the days when you make choices with what you have in front of you, when you become the architect of your own life.  

Go for the job with the six figure salary if you want, but make sure you are happy at the end of the day; no amount of money can replace emptiness.

Pursue the minimum wage job if it fulfils you, but make sure you can pay the bills; there is no point feeling content in your vocation but crippled with debt and uncertainty. 

Your choices are laid out in front of you now. Celebrate the successes when you make the right ones and understand the valuable lessons you are being presented with when you make the wrong ones. 

I’m sure I can speak for your Dad, Julia and Stuart when I say we are all immensely proud of the young man you have become.

Know too that whatever path you decide to take I am your Mum and I will always, always have your back.