ON Tuesday, Scottish students received their exam results. It is always an anxious time for pupils and parents and particularly for this generation, as success stories are instantly relayed through social media.

The day has taken on a special significance that is little to do with the results themselves. It’s become an opportunity for those of us who left school a decade or more ago to impart some of our wisdom on the younger generations. We do this via Twitter, of course, because none of us knows how to work Snapchat.

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As if the poor souls don’t already have enough to process on results day, oldies attempt to distil everything we’ve learned about life thus far into 280 characters, then send it off to the world with the optimistic belief that there are 17-year-olds who actually follow us on Twitter.

I am guilty as charged. Despite knowing both how prematurely old it makes me sound and how little teenagers will care about what I have to say: I take part too.

It’s infectious, the act of trying to pass on what you’ve learned from your past mistakes and failures, in the hope that young people can skip over some of the brutal practicalities of “life lessons” and head straight to the part where they are comfortable and confident in themselves.

We tell them not to worry and that exam results don’t define you – but they will worry, as we did.

We tell them follow their hearts and dream big, when nearly all of us had jobs we hated before – if ever – we found the one we love.

We tell them that the only limit to their ambitions is their own work ethic and imagination. When we know – we’ve learned – that the playing field isn’t level, life sometimes isn’t fair, and they will almost certainly face disappointment.

The rush to tweet out reassurance to teenagers is as wholesome as it is futile. In our younger years, how many of us would have taken the Twitter advice of Sandra from Kirkcaldy rather than going out into the big wide world and experiencing it for ourselves?

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Many took to Twitter to re-assure those receiving exam results

Wisdom isn’t a list of lessons that you can learn and then apply. It means different things depending on what point of your life you are at. Those of us pushing 30 and beyond – somewhat drunk with good intentions – enjoy giving young people advice because it makes us feel good about ourselves.

There’s no harm in that and for all the gentle ribbing that #NoWrongPath and the other “don’t worry kids, it will all come good in the end" Twitter conversations provoke, I enjoy them.

They aren’t going to soothe the disappointment felt by a 17-year-old clutching a certificate full of Ds in the way that the time and support of the people that know and love them will.

For those of us participating in unsolicited advice-giving, it’s a reminder to ourselves that although life has its moments of struggle and failure, we are all learning along the way.

As somebody who regularly strayed far from the straight and narrow in my younger years, I find that immensely comforting. It also instils a sense of realism about my own abilities and personal growth: For as grounded and together as I feel at this age, I know I’ve got many decades of bumps and life lessons to come.

Perhaps we should leave the teenagers to find their own path instead of overwhelming them with our conflicting ideas of the best route. We can trust them to work through the magnitude of exam results day and come out the other side, perhaps a bit bruised and deflated, but otherwise fine, as all the generations of school pupils before them did.

In lieu of giving them advice, we could admit that at times we all need some, regardless of our age, and offer it to each other instead. A virtual advice bank, where 30 and 40-somethings confess the bits of life that they struggle with, then offer it up to the wisdom of Twitter for guidance.

Maybe somebody could teach me how to work out percentages, or how to pronounce “ichthyosaur’’ so I don’t need to keep skipping over that bit in my wee girl’s dinosaur book.

There must be a helpful fitness guru around who can explain to me how to get through the excruciating pain and misery of jogging to the point where it’s meant to be fun.

I bet that there are gardening whizzes who could offer me very useful advice on how to keep flowers alive, a life lesson that has so far eluded me.

Has anybody worked out the appropriate response for when you have asked somebody to repeat something three times and you still can’t work out what they are saying? Do you ask a fourth time? Has ANYBODY ever asked a fourth time?

If there a secret method of properly cleaning an oven door without using chemicals that could burn the hands off you?

There’s so much to learn. I think the kids will be alright.