Remember quite vividly the moment of getting my A-level results. My best friend Jen and I arranged to pick up our envelops from college rather than trust them to the postman.
Jen's mum had driven her over as they lived in a nearby village. We collected the envelopes from the office and then got into the back of the car. Jen's mum reversed up the drive a bit so we were away from everyone else and had some privacy.
We opened our envelops at the same time and Jen was the first one to speak: "I'm going to Cambridge!" To which I responded: "I'm going to Liverpool!"
Both were our first choices. After that I don't remember much else about the day. I don't remember telling my parents although I know they were over the moon. I was the first in our family to go to university.
I don't remember doing anything particular to celebrate after but that day was probably the most significant in my life, setting me on a path that took me away from a small, rural town to a big city. Two big cities. It took me to an education that was more about life than the english and psychology I actually studied.
My political views took a U-turn from what I'd been brought up on and as a result got thrown, with religion, on the pile of opinions never to discuss with my dad. I discovered art. I discovered theatre. I discovered history. I made friends for life.
I got away and found the world. I changed. A lot. It changed my world view and as a result my life. I have no doubt that I wouldn't be living here in London, doing the job I love doing and spending my free time doing the things I do if I hadn't gone to university. So for that, I'm really grateful for what was written on the paper in the envelope that I opened in the back of Jen's mum's car.