Today high school kids start their HSC (Higher School Certificate). For many this is a very stressful and worrying time. Students worry that if they don’t get the mark they need, they will not get into the right university course or other college. This will impact their choices and in turn make them not do what they wish to do or be.
I was exactly like this. I studied like mad, I crammed, I worried, I stressed and I did not do very well when it came to the exams. I panic with exams. Some I did well at, but when compared to all the other kids in the state that did the same exam my mark was scaled down. So I did not get the right mark to do anything I wished to do. I was very upset.
At first I had no idea what mark I did get as Australia Post lost my HSC certificate and my results. It got lost was their answer! This was before you could instantly get a result from a computer. I don’t remember getting the results by mail, and think I rang the HSC help line to find out what my mark was. To find out was crushing and I cried and cried. I was miserable. My dreams were crushed. I did not join my friends from high school who all went off to university. I ended up joining the workforce.
I wanted to go to Film School at UTS and do a BA in Communications but did not get the marks, I did not even get the marks to get in at Bathurst or Macquarie for the same course. Devastated was not going to cover it. You could not speak to me about this and a moody teenager yes I was but I had my reasons.
Due to not going straight into university or another college, I got a job. I ended up being a receptionist for Film/TV and production companies and that allowed me to learn what I was interested in. I also volunteered at AFTRS (Australian Film & Television & Radio School) to gain experience and knowledge. I did short courses in filmmaking, script writing and production.
I applied twice to UTS and Macquarie for the BA in Communications and did not get in as a mature student. To be a mature student you have to be over 20 I think from memory. It was not until I met a boy who became my boyfriend who helped me with my third application to university. This application worked and I got into do Communications at UTS. I was overjoyed, happy and just ecstatic! I got in! I did it! Finally! My life is going to change for the better. Yippee!
This lovely boyfriend was a great help in my life at the time and our relationship did not last. I was very grateful for the help he gave me and the way he taught me how to answer things for university. I would not have known if it was not for him. So thanks.
I had about five years working before I got to do my undergrad at UTS in Sydney. It gave me a higher appreciation of what I wanted to achieve and I felt lucky to be there. Many other students were from well off families that seem to have everything handed to them. This was not the case for me and my friends. I put myself through university, I worked to go there, I used experience and knowledge to get accepted and it helped with doing well while there.
Not getting what you want right away is not that bad. I know it feels miserable and horrible at the time. The HSC is just an exam and if you don’t get the right outcome there are other ways to achieve your goal. I managed to get to where I wanted with not giving up and doing other things that steered me in the right direction. It just took a little longer to get there.
So if you don’t get the mark you need, don’t beat yourself up about it. You can still achieve without the mark you need. I know you will not be able to get into the course you have been drooling about, but maybe in the next couple of years you can give it another go. As a young person your interests and likes change so much, maybe not getting into university or a certain course was a blessing? Due to being sent in a different direction you might have found your passion for something else.
Don’t stress and just do the best job you can do. It is not the end of the world. It is just a test that does not dictate the rest of your life. I am living proof of this! I even went on to do a Post Grad Degree in Project Management from Sydney University.
Some great articles from the Sydney Morning Herald about the HSC:
Did you do well in your HSC? If not what did you end up doing? Did you go to university eventually? Not getting the mark you needed did it steer you in a different direction and if so are you pleased that it happened?