Results 2014: The Jigsaw of Life Begins to Fit Together – 14 August 2014


The old metaphor of ‘being on a journey’ is tired and overused. When Tony Blair called his memoirs exactly that, ‘A Journey‘, one sensed that Our Dear Leader would rather have used the definite article (as in ‘The Journey’), but for some brave fellow at the publishing house advising him that doing so might come across as a little too pretentious. Certainly, in recent years, what was once an inspiring image has now become a garish cliche.

The unfortunate truth is this. I, for one, am on a journey. Since Monday, I’ve been cycling along Britain’s beltline, from just outside Wales to, last night, a campsite in Oxfordshire. It’s had all the hallmarks of a proper lads’ adventure: injuries, accidents, breakdowns, and occasionally getting lost. But as we near home, we all agree that it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Enjoyable, that is, until yesterday evening, when a number of tweets reminded me of today’s significance: the announcement of A Level results. UCAS, the university admissions service, made quite clear that its website would not be available until the morning, rather than midnight as in years past. And so, off I went to bed (read: off I crawled into a cold, damp sleeping bag), with all the nervous anticipation of Christmas.

Just before 8:00am, I loaded the UCAS Track webpage, fully expecting it to still, pedantically, refuse me entry to its site. Instead I was presented with the two familiar login boxes that would now unlock the truth of my future.

Ding. And there it was. “Congratulations!”, the message read: “Your place at The University of Sheffield S18 for Journalism Studies P500 has been confirmed.”

It sounds so silly to say, but I read and re-read the message again and again, to check I hadn’t made a mistake. For a lad who’d sat most of his exams with a broken writing-hand, entry to a Russell Group university is pretty chuffing brilliant.

I’ve always felt that people have high hopes for me (notably different, mind, to having high expectations of me), so I’m pleased on many counts.

Mainly, I’m just delighted to have overcome this hurdle. This morning, in a text-message to a very dear friend, I explained: “it seems [that the] pieces in the jigsaw of my lovely (but otherwise largely directionless) life are starting to fit together”. In truth, it’s more like I’ve only just finished putting the edges in.

I guess that, at my core, I’m a firm believer in fate; ‘what is to be will be’, and all that. By that logic, I am reassured that Sheffield’s Journalism Studies course (which I’ll start, after my gap year, in September 2015) is probably the right choice for me.

And so the journey continues.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.

1 Response

  1. Matthew Burdett says:

    Yay! Many congratulations!