Leading Article: A-grade optimism

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The Independent Culture
THE NUMBER of A-level passes may have risen for the 17th consecutive year - and this newspaper wishes all the best to the happy recipients of good news on their exams - but even in a boom year, not every student will have had good news yesterday. And it is to the unhappy band who did not, that we wish to address a few words of comfort.

You'll be hearing a great many shopworn, homiletic sayings from friends and relatives, such as: "the darkest hours are those just before dawn", "every cloud has a silver lining", "when the going gets tough, the tough get going". And you'll shrug your shoulders, thinking that nobody knows just how bad it is.

But they do. There are many second chances in life, and no one is respected so much as the person who takes advantage of them. So don't be afraid to "pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and start all over again".