So ATARs came out today and if you’re 1 of the 55,000 students that got it, you’re either elated, disappointed or a good mix in between the two.
So let’s run through the motions. As someone that got the text message and pondered my future afterwards, I feel like I’ll be speaking to the people who didn’t know what the next step is because they were so set on Plan A.
First off. Don’t bother with ATAR calculators. They’ll give you a rough estimate, but they’re also set up for you to be disappointed or incredibly impressed. Every year is different, it also doesn’t take into account your school. Unless your school has a specialised ATAR calculator, I would take the results they pump out with a grain of salt.
Second. Who cares? If you’re in uni, you’re in uni. Uni students all say the same thing. It’s just a number. You’ll forget it in a few years anyway. Protip. These guys are in university. They know that it’s just a number. This number doesn’t have a section in your FB About Me, you won’t see it in Twitter bios, or in CVs or on LinkedIn, so move on? Got something bad? It’s a flawed system anyway, putting pressure on students for one year of work. If you have a good enough work ethic, it won’t matter what you get.
Third. Have a Plan B. I dun goofed so hard that for a few days, I was wondering what my future actually held for me. Fortunately, there are so many paths to the place you want to go. And if you’re an average person, it’s likely that you may have a change of heart or an epiphany, one that changes what your original Plan A was. My original Plan A was to become an ICT Specialist. What a boring Plan A. But as I continued, I wasn’t a fan. I realised that my passion lied in being an informer. A journalist.
Fourth. Know how to get to where you’re going. University isn’t for everyone. University isn’t for every job. A friend of mine, Matthew Karstunen, completed his first year of Journalism this year and has taken up so many big name internships early that I feel he’s closer to his goal career path than most third-year or even postgrad students. Some people have found a way to their career goal through real-work experience. Path 1 might look nice, but paths 2-10 might get you to point B, and may even be more enjoyable.
Fifth. Work ethic. Once you’re in. Put what you’ve got into it. A lot of people say that uni is great because you only need to scrape a Pass for every subject. And while I’m not a shining beacon of High Distinction students, the way you work in your career path course determines how much you really want it.
(6th) I guess. Don’t let your parents determine your level of proudness. More likely than not (especially if you have Asian parents), they’ll use it as a bragging point. Got something low? Move on, get to the job or course. After a while, they’ll use your course as a bragging point.
My path was a confusing, yet rewarding one. I’m doing what I love doing in a course that had an ATAR requirement miles above what I got. I’ve done incredibly well all things considered. It’s always a stressful time, and you might feel lost and confused as to your future. But like most destinations, there’s always multiple paths and some of these may even be more enjoyable and fulfilling than the one the GPS nav is telling you to go.