1. Don't be so hard on yourself 🙂
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing well. Seriously. You’re doing great.
This is probably the most stressful period of your life and you have A LOT going on.
Every decision you’ve made this year was made because you thought it was the best thing to do at the time. Every time you procrastinated; you were just trying to save yourself some mental pain. Every “mistake” you’ve made was the right choice at the time, given the information you had.
Even if you could have done something better or studied more or scored higher in a test: that’s in the past. No point worrying about it now. It’s about as useful as solving algebra with bubble-gum. You’ve done well. You have! So give yourself some credit.
Perhaps you want to do better. Perhaps you’re not doing quite as well as you feel you should. It’s not too late! But if you want to improve, you’re going to have to make some changes, starting today, as “now” is the only time that exists.
2. Worried about your ATAR?
If you worried about your ATAR, the real concern is probably getting into a decent university (and ultimately a decent career), so it’s worth looking at how to be successful. And by “success,” I mean whatever you consider success to be, in any area of life you choose.
Success is determined by hard work and persistence.
Look at anyone you admire, anyone you consider successful and you’ll see that they put in a lot of work and didn’t give up – in fact, talent plays a relatively small part. I don't know about you, but I know a lot of people with "talent" that was never fully realised.
Michael Jordan didn’t get into his high school basketball team – and he is well known as one of the best players of all time. Arnold Schwarzenegger constantly rejected from movie roles due to his accent and became one of the most famous actors of all time.
Work as hard as you can to get the ATAR you need. If you don’t get the required ATAR, find another way to get into a career you love. Work hard and persist. The amount of times people just up just before the finish line is astonishing. In fact, chances are if you’re about to give up, it’s because you are much closer to reaching your goal than you think. The quickest road to a university degree is usually with an ATAR but there are often other ways as well, so research them!
So, let’s look at what result you want at the end of this year.
The only point of an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) is to help you get into a university course, that’s it. That is its only purpose. Chances are, no one will ever ask you about it again once you've got into uni.
So, what do YOU need an ATAR for?
There’re pretty much only two reasons, either you want to keep your options as open as possible or there is a University course that you want to get into.
If you want to get into a certain course, have a look at exactly what is required for each University you are interested in. Look at every possible alternate path to getting into that course. Maybe there isn't any, but there often are. Knowledge is certainty, and the more you know, the less stressed you’ll be about you final years – especially if you know you have a backup plan.
If you don’t know what you want to do, check out some university open days and see what fits. If there’s nothing that tickles your fancy, just have a look at a few acceptable options. If you’ve done a decent amount of research, it’s not worth stressing over too much if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing to do. People change their career paths many times and you have plenty of options ahead of you, no matter what course you want to do after school. Just focus on doing the best you can this year, keeping in mind what it means to be successful.
3. Let yourself win!
The morale of this story is to accept the past, give yourself credit for what you have achieved and work hard to get what you want. Knuckle down this year and get the best possible score but research other pathways to avoid unnecessary stress.
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