Despite the 2020 exam diet being cancelled across Scotland and the UK due to coronavirus, students will still receive recognition for their hard work on results day. This year, exam results will be determined by estimates provided by teachers and schools, based upon the coursework submitted prior to the coronavirus pandemic. In Scotland exam results will arrive on August 4th as planned while English A-level results day will be August 13th and GCSE results day August 20th.
Regardless of the unusual circumstances surrounding this year's exam results, as a recent graduate I know as well as anyone the importance of celebrating these results. For many students, leaving school in 2020 has been exceptionally difficult with coronavirus cancelling end of term events, such as prom. At such a difficult time, passing your exams is the perfect reason for a celebration. It is therefore especially important to celebrate exam success this year and recognise the hard work that has gone into school work, regardless of exams being cancelled. Plus, the relaxing of lockdown restrictions in the UK means it will now be possible for students to have small, socially distanced, get-togethers to celebrate their exam results.
No matter the level of exam - National 5 (GCSE in England) or Highers and Advanced Highers (A Level in England), one of the most common ways to celebrate the success of passing is through giving a gift. But how do you choose the perfect gift for passing exams? Choosing a results day present, especially for a teenager can be extremely difficult and this is a struggle I have frequently faced when buying exam results presents for my sister. When searching online, many of the results day gift guides suggest items such as chocolate, flowers and alcohol rather than a more long-lasting and personal gift. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect gift to celebrate good exam results.
A Practical Gift for Passing Exams
Whilst it is always nice to be given chocolate, why not go for a more long lasting and practical exam results gift this year. A great exam results gift is one that helps your loved one to prepare for the next steps they are taking in their life. Maybe they are leaving home or their great results mean they are heading to university or college. Or maybe they are staying at school but are becoming more independent. Consider getting a gift that will both celebrate passing exams and also help your loved one to prepare for their next steps.
For example, stationery is the perfect gift for somebody who is staying at school or going to university or college. Otherwise, a starter kit for leaving home filled with practical items is a great results day present. With many young people growing increasingly concerned about climate change, an eco friendly taster kit filled with easy swaps could be the perfect exam results gift. For example, this Sustainable Student Starter Pack was designed with students leaving home or starting university in mind. The box contains sustainable stationery for lecture notes, a beeswax wrap (reusable alternative to clingfilm) to wrap up sandwiches or cakes and a bamboo cutlery set for lunches on the go. Additionally, a 2 in 1 shampoo and soap bar reduces plastic waste whilst also providing much needed toiletries to take into your new flat. The benefit of a gift like this is that it is long-lasting and many of the products will be useful for years to come. Plus, as well as celebrating great exam results, these gifts bring excitement about the future and the next steps in life (which, in these uncertain times, can only be a good thing).
Choose a Personal Results Day Present
Try to be organised and start considering exam results presents in advance, so that you have time to choose something personal and meaningful. Consider the interests and hobbies of the person you are buying a gift for. If you are creative or bored during lockdown, you could even consider a handmade gift such as making a candle from recycled candle wax and you could decorate the jar with a personal message. You could also consider making some decorations to display on results day alongside your gift, such as recycled paper bunting which you can personalise, to make the day even more special.
If you are unable to think of a personal gift, consider hand making a congratulations on your exam results card as a more personal touch. Alternatively, purchase your gift from a small business who include a handmade personalised card, they will do the hard work for you whilst still allowing you to give a personal exam results present.
Wrapping Your Exam Results Present
Everyone loves opening a present, so once you have chosen the perfect present why not wrap your exam results gift to make it extra special? For a more eco friendly gift giving experience, wrap your gift in kraft paper using kraft paper tape to secure, this will make your wrapping completely recyclable. If you want more exciting wrapping, you could hand make a tag or decorate the kraft paper with hand drawn designs or messages for a really personal touch. Otherwise, adding natural twine instead of ribbon will give your exam results present a rustic look whilst still benefiting the environment, since twine is compostable.
Choosing where to buy a Gift for Passing Exams
Coronavirus has had a massive impact on all of our lives and small businesses are no different. Over 230,000 small UK businesses have stopped trading due to the current pandemic, meaning now really is the time to “use it or lose it” in terms of small businesses. Consider this when choosing where to purchase your exam results present. Support a small business which, especially in this difficult time, will massively appreciate your business, rather than a large chain or corporation. Plus, small businesses are much more likely to offer a personal service and beautiful packaging, helping you to secure the perfect gift for passing exams.
The eco credentials of the business you are considering purchasing your exam results gift from are also worth bearing in mind. At a time when climate change is such a dominant threat and this is likely to be something that concerns the young person who you are buying the exam results gift for, it is worth taking time to research the eco credentials of the business you are supporting. Things to look out for include the materials and processes used to make the products and how transparent the business is about this. Additionally, where the products are made and the reputation of the business in terms of paying a fair wage. Finally, consider how the products are packaged and whether they will come wrapped in single-use plastic which could remain on earth for up to 1000 years. Often, it is small businesses who tend to be more environmentally conscious in their business practices and this is another reason to consider shopping small for your exam results present.
Have you found the perfect gift to celebrate passing exams? Do you have any other tips that you would add to help others to find their perfect exam results present?