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Northern Ireland pupil on disappointment that future is out of her control after school life ended

Testing times: a mother and daughter write about the challenges they never thought they’d have to face in 2020

I have a goal of going to Queen's University to study environmental management or psychology and a big frustration for me is that I won't get the chance to cross the finishing line. I've been left feeling a little lost.

My school life ended so quickly without getting the chance to make that final push. There's disappointment that my future has been taken out of my control and, for me and many of my friends, I know those final few yards can make all the difference in what grades we achieve, what university we will go to and what future is ahead for us all.

I have been worried about whether I have done enough to get the grades I need, and I have four more months until August to sit and wait to see what my future is.

I didn't do as well in mocks as I would have liked to, but it was always in my head that these were a practice run, they were not the be-all and end-all of what my final grades would be.

As students we were always told that the mocks were the big chance for us to find out where we needed to improve, fix all the mistakes we were making, so I was probably like so many more pupils in seeing them as a practice run.

No longer going to school, I don't have my friends there for support like I would have and there's no final encouragement from teachers to prepare for the exams.

Of course, there is relief that I won't spend the next few weeks worrying about having to go and take the final exams. That pressure is off. But it's been replaced by a pressure we simply cannot do anything about and that makes sitting here at home all the more difficult to come to terms with.

Belfast Telegraph