The quiet train carriage was disrupted by my phone alerting me of a new message from my friend: “Results are OUT.” She was referring to our Master’s grade, of course.
All too quickly anxiety whirled up inside of me. I hadn’t expected to receive this message for another month or so. I had thought about this moment a lot. In my head I had compared what would be, with what was on the day that I got my undergraduate results a couple of years ago.
I was in Spain and my mum, of course, was the first person I phoned. She was beaming through the phone so, so proud of me. I got the first-class degree that I so wanted, but then again, she would have been proud with whatever grade I got.
This time I wouldn’t be able to phone her. My happiness would undeniably echo the silence of loss; the loss of her pride or the “I knew you’d do it! I never doubted you for a minute.”
I logged on to the university blackboard page – thankful that the train’s Wifi held out – and sure enough the little red notification appeared in the top right corner of the screen.
My final assignment was worth 72, giving me a grade average of 73. A distinction. I cried. She would have been so proud of me. The Master’s was the cause of so many sleepless nights but one of my final promises that I swore I’d keep. And I bloody well did it.
On Facetime to both my boyfriend and my sister, Evee said to me “That’ll do pig, that’ll do” quoting the iconic final line from Babe, and I laughed through my tears. She was right, that’ll do. It’s over now, I can rest.
I didn’t feel anxious about my trip for the rest of the train journey. Rather, I felt calm.
I couldn’t help but wonder, is this the light at the end of the tunnel that so many people have promised? Are we finally out of the woods?