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Imagine being the kid who never passes the exam. Who always gets put into the ‘bottom’ set. Who’s spent their life between the ages of 6 and 16 being told they’re not good enough, they’re stupid, they’re failures. We rarely hear about those kids but there’s millions of them.
I can still remember GCSE exam results day in 1997. My next door neighbour and best mate didn’t pass a single one. His step Dad said to him ‘Right, fuck off out of here and don’t come back until you have a job’.

Life on a 90s council estate in north east England.
I was the only one of my peer group to pass (I had social anxiety and so would stay in my room and read for want of anything better to do). I walked back from the school on results day feeling pleased. Then some lads were saw me and were like ‘Look at the state of that geek!’.
I remember feeling crushed and deflated by it. What had I done to them? Why did they have to be so nasty to a random stranger? It was also the day that Oasis released ‘Be Here Now’. It turned out to be a huge disappointment and my day was going from bad to worse.
Anyway, then I developed an eating disorder, dropped out of sixth form after 4 months, and became a recluse for the next 15 years or so. Oasis continued to release disappointing albums so I got into The Manics instead. The Holy Bible and Gold Against The Soul reflected my life.
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