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Flawless A-level student takes her own life after less than perfect results… and we’re still doing nothing?


Newspapers have been reporting on the terribly tragic story of the A-Level student who took her own life because she didn’t get the grades she needed for her university of choice. And we’re SICK of this pressure.

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This external push and push and push for the perfect academic record and the perfect extracurricular CV that is making young people want to tap out? It’s not good enough. We’re failing somewhere.

Harpreet Kaur Hallaith was 18, she got ABB for her A Levels, which for some is a dream, but it still was not enough. She didn’t get into the university she’d been working so hard, maybe too hard, to get into.

And her story is, unfortunately, not unique, nor is it uncommon. For instance, a girl literally jumped from a bridge MINUTES after discussing her exam options.

The pressure to do well achieve perfection isn’t only unrealistic… It’s dangerous.

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Should we be pushed to apply ourselves? Definitely. Should we have people who will challenge us to do better? Absolutely. But there has to be an underlying message that it’s 100% ok to just… do you.

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Top school, top university, top life. That’s how it works, right? Wrong. Life is complicated, it’s varied and it’s a whole lot more than just exams and academic prowess. Just because you totally tank that History exam does not mean your future is also fucked.

Somewhere the system is failing. Or society is failing.

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But not getting into your first choice university is NOT failing. Realising academia is not for you is NOT failing.

Following your passions can lead to great success. YouTube sensation, Zoella, was on an interior design apprenticeship when she started blogging and look where she is now! Author extraordinaire, Alice Oseman, secured her book deal while at university, but has talked openly about her complicated experience of the academic life. 

Do you think we should find a way to chill the eff out when it comes to exams and school pressure? Or is it important to keep pushing people to do better? 

If you’re feeling like coursework, exams, school life is getting to much and you need to talk to someone, then PLEASE please please do. The Samaritans will listen to whatever you gotta say.

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.