There were tears of triumph and despair shed in sixth-form blocks around the region today as A-level results were finally released.
The agonising summer wait for teenagers was finally over as they found out if they made the grade to get into their chosen universities.
Some began the long process of finding a university through clearing, but with record numbers of places being offered at universities, for many it was a joyous occasion and a relief to finally see where their future lies.
At Brunts Academy in Mansfield there was plenty to celebrate.
Oliver Featherstone, 18, from Mansfield, managed to achieve staggering success with four A* grades in maths, physics, chemistry and biology.
The incredible results will now allow him to go to Oxford University to study bio-chemistry.
He said: “It’s just a shock to be honest.
“I was told that I had got in to Oxford but didn’t know the grades I got, so this is just amazing.
“I thought the exams were difficult on the whole, but I did as much preparation as possible.
“The wait through the summer has been horrendous but I’m now just over the moon.”
Meanwhile, students also sat A2-levels and the results for these students also provided some much-needed relief.
Sophie Bennett, 18, from Mansfield achieved an B in sociology and a C in English, meaning she is still on course to study paramedic science next year.
She now only has to study one A-level for the forthcoming academic year.
“It’s been really stressful but I’m so happy,” she said.
“The pressure is now off for next year.”
With a pass rate of 99.7 per cent, headteacher Carl Atkins said: “Brunts is extremely proud of our students’ successes and how hard staff have worked to ensure future student destinations are secured.
“The increased numbers going to university over the last few years shows how students at Brunts make fantastic progress and we wish them all the best for the future.”
Neil Davies, head of sixth-form added, “It is highly rewarding to see so many students achieve such positive results which in turn has afforded them both personal and academic success, enabling progress on to their chosen destinations in higher education, employment or training.”
A Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth, there was also plenty of joy.
Sam Wakelin, 18, from Ravenshead, pulled off three A* grades in maths, chemistry and physics, which allows him to go to Durham University to study accountancy and management.
He said: “I did not think I’d do this well, it’s come as a surprise.
“I though the maths and chemistry exams were quite hard but the physics exams were quite a challenge.
“I did not sleep well last night but I’m now just so happy, it’s been a long two months to wait.”
Another student from Ravenshead is Charlotte Jones, who achieved two A* grades and one A.
The 18-year-old sat exams in geography, biology and maths and will be going to Nottingham University to study environmental biology.
She said: “They were quite hard and it was really hard to tell how I did.
“It’s been a really good summer but it’s been a nervous one. I’m now just very happy, they are better than I expected I would get.”
For the Rainworth school, more than 64 per cent of students got one or more grade A* to B, whilst 83 per cent of the year group achieved a grade C or higher.
Margaret Caney, head of sixth-form, added: “We are immensely proud of our students, who have worked with real dedication and commitment to achieve such excellent results. They deserve thoroughly the rewards of their endeavours.”
David Bell, headteacher, added: “No one should underestimate the hard work needed to achieve A-level grades or the amount of effort and resolve required to be very successful.”
At Samworth Academy in Mansfield the majority of students secured places at university, further education or training schools of their choice.
A spokesman said: “We are delighted with performance of our students this year.
“These results reflect the significant progress our students have made during their courses of study. There are some stunning individual achievements amongst the results.
“A significant number of students have been successful in gaining places on courses at some of the top universities in the country.
“The successes are a testimony to the hard work of students and staff and the support of parents and carers.”
There were similar scenes at Vision West Notts in Mansfield, where the pass rate was also 99 per cent, 0.2 per cent up on last year.
Principal and chief executive, Dame Asha Khemka, said: “Our students have delivered another set of superb A-level results and can feel justifiably proud of their individual achievements.
“This confirms our position as the region’s top-performing further education college for academic success to complement our reputation for vocational excellence.
“I’m delighted for our students, who have worked exceptionally hard to get the grades they need to achieve their aspirations, whether that’s progressing to higher education or into employment or an apprenticeship.”
Tyler Garton, 18, from Mansfield, was delighted to achieve an A* in psychology and straight A grades in biology, sociology and his extended project qualification (EPQ).
He said: “I’m totally astounded by these results – they haven’t sunk in yet. I didn’t sleep at all last night, worrying about whether I’d get the grades to go to university, so this is fantastic.
“I’m now looking forward to going the University of Nottingham to study biology.”
Sophia Parvaiz, 18, from Sutton, described herself as “relieved” after achieving A* grades in English literature, biology and her EPQ, and a B in chemistry.
She said: “I’d been incredibly nervous for at least a week.
“I really didn’t think my grades would turn out like this so it’s a massive relief and I can enjoy the rest of the summer now.
“I’m going to study pharmacy at the University of Nottingham as this is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while.
“I’m looking to work in a hospital setting but I’ll make my mind up while at university.
Alipa Uddin, 18, from Mansfield, was “overwhelmed” at gaining A* grades in biology and psychology, B in chemistry and an A in her EPQ.
“When I opened the envelope and saw the results, I couldn’t believe it – I thought I was dreaming.
“But two years of hard has definitely paid off. Now I can look forward to studying a pharmacy degree at the University of Nottingham.
“I’m excited about what the future holds for me and I can’t wait to tell my family how well I’ve done.”
Eighteen-year-old George Wragg, from Mansfield Woodhouse, was “awestruck” after finding out he’d done even better than he expected – achieving an A* in business studies, A in media and B in English language.
“I didn’t think I had the capability to achieve what I have, so I’ve completely surprised myself,” he said.
“I’ve now secured a place at Newcastle University to study marketing, which I’m over the moon about. I didn’t think in a million years I’d be going there – it feels amazing.
“It’s been hard work at college, with lots of revision and many late nights.”