August 23, 2019 Awanti Dahal

What I wish I had known before starting my HSC year

The HSC is, essentially, what our 13 years of schooling have led up to. The culmination of years and years of schooling. Of hard work. So it’s only natural that we’re fixated on doing the best we possibly can. Obtaining the ATAR for your dream course. Or your dream university. And of course, that’s fantastic – do your absolute best! Work hard. But at the heart of it all, the HSC is so much more than your marks and your ATAR. This is just one of the many things I wish I had known prior to starting my HSC year:

  1. It’s not the end. It’s cliché, I know. You’ve probably heard it before, but I don’t believe there’s a greater truth about the entire HSC journey. The HSC isn’t the beginning of your life, nor is it the end. Life will continue – whether you achieve the results you wanted or not. There’s so many bigger and better things to come. Don’t beat yourself over a mark you’re not happy with. In reality, it won’t even matter. Not in 10 years’ time, not in 5 years’ time – not even in one year’s time.
  2. You will make it into university. University isn’t the desired path for all of us – some already have their path figured out; whether it be an apprenticeship, or a TAFE course or a gap year. But for those looking into university entry straight after high school – it’s easy it look at the ATAR requirements for your dream course and freak out. But, I assure you – you will receive university offers. For example, there’s the School Recommendations Schemes (SRS), in which universities make early offers to students based on criteria other than the ATAR. There’s also the Educational Access Scheme, taking into account any disadvantages that you may have had during your HSC year. So, not to stress! You will make it into university.
  3. Nobody cares about your ATAR. It’s strange; especially considering, we spend our HSC year beating ourselves because we believe that one bad mark has left our dream ATAR hanging by a thread. Or because we’ve left our ranking slip. In reality, though, once school is over – nobody is going to ask you what your ATAR was. You’re not going to be walking around with your ATAR plastered on your forehead in red letters. Nobody will know your ATAR – instead, what they’ll see is your passions, your work ethic and your achievements.

Most of all, have fun during your HSC year. You only do it once. The year of many lasts – last day of school, last school assembly, last free periods, last swimming carnival and so many more. Make it count. Work hard, but not so hard that you can’t remember the fun of it all. Because Year 12 is certainly a year worth remembering.

About the Author

Awanti Dahal
Awanti Dahal Awanti is an Alchemy tutor and writer.