We were told well in advance when to expect our exam results. I’m still unsure whether this is a good thing or not. It certainly prevents frantic students from pestering the poor Student Services team with requests. However, for the student, it removes the possibility of blissfully forgetting when they will come, and being surprised by an email at a seemingly random time.
As the day approached, I became more and more glum about the outcome of the exams. Imposter syndrome began to creep in as I looked at my fellow students, and even more so when I considered just how impressive I found those who have actually managed to pass.
My plan for results day was simple. I was going to spend it keeping as busy as possible, in an effort not to think too much about the results, which were bound to arrive at some point during the late afternoon. I turned off my morning alarm, reasoning that an extra couple of hours of sleep would further reduce the time I spent fretting. I would only look at my phone once every half an hour.
I woke up at 4:00. My attempts at distraction were a total failure. I don’t know how many times I checked my phone that day, but it was a LOT more than the once-every-thirty-minutes that I had promised myself.
At around 12:00, I received a text message from a friend, simply saying ‘They’re out’. Five minutes of furiously refreshing outlook followed, as I waited for my email.
I could barely believe it when I discovered that I have passed theory!
Reading the email, I shouted (screamed?), dropped my phone, and ran to find my husband. The next few hours was spent in a dreamy haze sharing the news with friends, family, colleagues, and the Masters of Wine who have helped me so much over the past couple of years. We ate noodles, drank beers, and I felt happier and more relaxed than I have for months.
As I expected, I didn’t pass the tasting element of the exam. You need to pass all three papers to get through, and while I did manage to pass one of them, the other two were frankly disastrous.
This means that for the academic year of 2022-2023, I will be a ‘Practical Only’ student. I can leave theory behind me, and focus on tasting. In June, I’ll have three exams to complete rather than eight.
It feels like a huge step forward towards my goal of becoming a Master of Wine. The imposter syndrome is starting to take a back seat, and I am beginning to believe in myself.