There’s a big, black, R-shaped cloud hanging over my head.

It’s 11am and, just like every day for the past two weeks, I am in bed with stomach cramps and a vague feeling of panic. Why is this? Because tomorrow, the 15th of August 2013, is Results Day.

Results Day is the day when every A Level student in Britain finds out what their educational future is going to be. It is the day people find out if they got the grades to go to the university of their choice.

I go/went to a school with an incredibly high academic reputation (top 5 in the League Tables), which means that an enormous amount of importance is placed on exam results. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day for every one of my classmates.

Here’s the issue for me. I have set my heart on studying Biology at Royal Holloway, University of London. I decided this the day after last year’s application deadline closed.

RHUL’s entrance criteria for Biology is ABB. My AS results were BCCC. My grades have not been helped by the fact that my Panic Disorder was only diagnosed at the start of Year 12, and the year of treatment I received only started me on the long road to recovery. I was still struggling through AS and A Level exams, and by struggling, I mean I was too scared to revise properly and had a panic attack in every single exam I did. True, they weren’t quite as bad as in my GCSE’s, in which I left the exam room early approximately 80% of the time. However, they did mean that my writing is illegible in sections of exam papers, and that several of my answers are probably barely coherent.

And, fool that I am, I did not opt for special consideration. In order to qualify for special consideration, I would have had to enter the exam room ten minutes earlier than everyone else, and because my main focus was on making the amount of time I had to spend in the exam room as short as possible, I refused.

My mother was the only one who noticed the issues in the exam room, and that was because she knows what to look for. When I panic, I scratch my chest. Not because it itches, or anything, but because I have to do something to alleviate the horrible, ballooning panic. This has resulted in some very unattractive scarring across my chest. When I am particularly panicked, I can open up a hefty cut on my chest with one swipe. Hence why, after my Biology exam this year, my mother took one look at me and my blood-spattered shirt and contacted the school to see about me getting some sort of allowance for that exam.

Nope, because I hadn’t told anyone about the panic attack. They were unable to prove it happened, and therefore I could not be treated differently. In every exam afterwards, the school told me I had to tell someone whenever I felt panicky in an exam, even if I didn’t want them to do anything about it. This made for a very embarrassing next few exams, as I put my hand up at least once during every paper.

Panicking in exams is a fairly standard experience for me, and previous results reflect that. As my emotional state in this year’s exams wasn’t much different, I am about to do something no one is ever supposed to do, and speculate on the grades I have got:

I will have obtained a B in English. I got a B for AS Level, and my teachers told me it would be very difficult to go up or down from that if I didn’t resit the A Level. Which I didn’t, because I wanted to focus on my other exams.

I am expecting a C in Biology. Despite my best efforts, and my fairly good grades in practice tests, I cannot seem to push my grades up beyond a C in actual exams. And with the major freak out I had in my Biology A Level, I’m not expecting a good result in that one.

I’m thinking a C in Psychology. While the exams did not go badly, I don’t think they were shining examples of academic brilliance. Also, I got a C at AS Level

Lastly, I think I’ll have got a B in General Studies. While I got an A at AS Level, the A Level exams didn’t go anywhere near as well as I would have liked, so I think I’ll have dropped a grade. Not that General Studies actually matters, though.

I am aware that I am not supposed to second-guess my results. However, if I don’t think about it, the vague panic will just get worse and worse. I’d rather have something concrete to attach the panic to.

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