It’s Thursday 20th August 2009. I think it’s 06.00. Maybe it’s 06.30. I want to say it’s dark, but perhaps my curtains were closed, it is a late summer morning after all. Whichever it is, I’m awake for the same reason as thousands of other eighteen (or thereabout) year-olds in England. It is A-Levels results day. I’m awake in my mum’s house or, back then, home. I’ve long-decided that I’ll be logging into UCAS on results day morning, rather than waiting until 10 or 11am to go into school and receive my results. Though UCAS will not display results, it can tell me one of three things:
A) Unconditional offer at my first choice university
B) Unconditional offer at my second choice university
I am expecting a confirmation of option A, and that I’ll be going to Queen Mary University of London to study Law, straight As the requirement. At worst, I expect option B, to study the same course at Kent with a requirement of ABB. I log in to UCAS. It is incredibly slow, but I’ve been warned it will by those who have gone before me. One of the thousands attempting to access a system that is probably poorly equipped to deal with this once-a-year surge of users attempting to access their servers all at the same time.
I’m in. The page has loaded. The status of my university application has changed. Clearing.