The Life of an MW Student – Eleven

We knew that our exam results were due on the 5th October. Leading up to the day, I became increasingly agitated, the quiet hum of anxiety in my mind growing louder and louder. I was not expecting good news, as along with the anxiety, a feeling of pessimism had also descended on me. Could I cope with another year at Stage One of the programme? More importantly, if all the 4:30 alarms, pages and pages of notes, flashcards and timed essays weren’t enough to get me through, then what exactly would be enough?

It was a day of torture, my heart rate leaping every time I received an email (and I get rather a lot of emails). Finally, at 16:30, the results were in. The world seemed to stop as I read the red capital letters telling me that I had passed both of the exams and would be progressing to Stage Two. I called my husband, parents and best friend, barely able to get any words out aside from ‘I did it’.

Even better, my whole study group had also passed. It seems that our rather draconian schedule of 6am meetings and brutally honest critiquing of one another’s work paid off.

Sharing a glass of Champagne with some colleagues, I read the email over and over, not quite believing what had happened. Everyone said the usual things, about how they had never doubted that I would get through, but I had been far from sure.

The celebratory dinner that evening was one of the best I’ve had all year. My husband and I strolled down Corn Street to The Horseshoes, which has become one of our favourite restaurants. The food was spectacular. We started with a negroni and a bowl of briny, buttery, green olives. A bottle of my favourite Albariño followed, which accompanied salt cod fritters. The main course, sole with brown shrimp and caper butter was delicate and full-flavoured all at once, perfectly cooked and seasoned. If you haven’t been recently (or at all), I suggest you remedy that as soon as possible. You’ll thank me.

Walking home after dinner, I felt a warm glow. Was it the food? Pride in my achievement? The wine? Stage two could wait until tomorrow – now it was time for a well-deserved rest.