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Forums / Young people / Stress due to ATAR

Topic: Stress due to ATAR

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Creative1
    Creative1 avatar
    3 posts
    28 December 2020

    Hi everyone this is my first time talking. There is 2 days left till I get my ATAR and I feel really overwhelmed. I tired talking to my parents but they don’t really pay that much attention to things like that and I am really worried for my result and I don’t know who to talk to anymore. All my other friends are smart and will easily achieve a good score but I am scared of being compared against them and disappointing my parents how do I deal with this.

  2. tranzcrybe
    Valued Contributor
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    tranzcrybe avatar
    648 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Creative1

    Hi Creative1,

    It can be an anxious wait for the notification of your results, but I think we usually have a fair idea of what they will be, don't you think?

    But I sense your bigger concern is the reaction from your parents should you fall short of expectations - have they mentioned your 'obligations' throughout the year? Often, parents are trying to keep you motivated and focused on study, but the reality is it's your life and you do the best you can (and they naturally want the best for you).

    Although a lesser result would be disappointing for you and them, that does not make you a disappointment and success in your future is formulated on what you do, not what you have (or haven't) done. Sometimes a poor outcome is what compels you to work harder in your tertiary studies or career (where some sail into Uni and struggle with their autonomy).

    While your ATAR can be compared, take comfort in that you are incomparable; and will have attributes extending beyond the narrow band of generic academia.

    Well done for getting through it, particularly this year (I think everyone deserves a gold star!).



    1 person found this helpful
  3. Guest_342
    Guest_342 avatar
    186 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Creative1

    Hi Creative1!

    Firstly, big congrats on completing your year 12 studies in a particularly challenging year!

    While ATARs are, it's true, something of a ticket of entry into particular tertiary courses, it's not the only way. It might seem like something really significant now, but I promise you that a few years down the track this tends to fade into insignificance. You're still so young with many years ahead of you in which you can pave your own pathway - as our fellow friend here has pointed out, it's about what you do.

    Of course, your school friends might initially see ATARs as a bit of a comparison or competition amongst yourselves, but where we get to in life is only partly academic - it's the other important skills we have and continue to develop too.

    Many of my work colleagues did generalist degrees initially and it was only much later on that they decided to do part time study at uni while they worked full time - some have gone on to become eg lawyers through that alternative route - and the benefit there was that at that older age (albeit still young in my view!) they actually knew that they wanted to be lawyers. We don't always have a clear idea of our pathway at 18. In fact, it's pretty rare. You know, some of the most successful people in the world didn't even go to uni.

    You'll be fabulous, whatever you do and however you choose to achieve it.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5871 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to Creative1

    Father of 2 here... my daughter finished year 12 this year also. So, congrats to you for making it through what has been a difficult year. I can understand how important an ATAR score can be. Not sure how exactly but my daughter was able to get an idea of her score also. Not sure how good that can be when... some kids get a lower score than expected even if they get into Uni.

    I am not unsure of what you want to study and entry requirements, or how many choices you get to make. If the only option is Uni then provided you score is greater than the entry requirement you have a good chance. Also read what Gelati said re alternative routes. Including TAFE.

    On comparisons ... we tend to judge ourselves more than our friends? If your score was 1 or 2 points higher than a friend, what would you say to them?

    Tell me about some of your strengths. Are you helpful? Friendly? Honest? These are things that ATAR does not measure.

    Listening to you, Tim

    2 people found this helpful
  5. cabbagebus
    cabbagebus avatar
    18 posts
    5 January 2021 in reply to Creative1

    Hi Creative,

    Congrats on finishing school! Regardless of what your ATAR was, you should be so proud of yourself for getting through this year. Year 12 is seriously so hard, and I can attest to how terrible it is because I also graduated in 2020 :D

    I think that your fears and concerns are completely valid. Throughout year 12, I’ve really struggled with worrying about what my parents think of me and being afraid that they won’t be proud of me or think that I’m “good enough”. My parents aren’t super strict about studying and also aren’t super concerned with ATAR scores, but I was still super afraid of disappointing them. There are a few ways of thinking which helped me deal with this which I shall share:

    At the end of the day, it’s YOUR score. Other people’s opinions about your results don’t really matter. A lot of people like to make academic comparisons even though it’s such an unhealthy thing to do.

    The main thing that matters is if YOU are happy with your score. If you aren’t, that really sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. As weird as it seems to say when you have all this pressure and stress on you, it’s just year 12. It’s okay if things don’t go as planned because it seems like they rarely do. You’ll get through it.

    Just try to remember that your academic success doesn’t define you as a person, nor does it determine if you’re a good person or if you’re a “worthy” person. It’s just one small aspect of who you are. I think that you probably did the best that you could with what you had at the time and you really can’t do more than that.

    Tests and exams only really measure how good you are at doing tests and exams – I genuinely believe they don’t measure how smart you are. Your result lets you get into the course you want and that’s it. There are usually alternate ways of getting in even if you can’t with just your score.

    I heard something recently which I thought was kind of funny and something I hadn’t thought of. It was “your parents can only yell at you for so long”. Everyone messes up, it doesn’t make you a bad person. Your parents aren’t perfect either and hopefully they’ll be understanding. If they aren’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong.

    I hope this helped. You made it!! Good job!

    CB :)

    1 person found this helpful

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