Last weekend I had my High School’s 10 year reunion. It was actually held at the school grounds which made it equally bizarre and fascinating. Returning to the place we once spent everyday after 10 years was a strange experience, but it was great to see the guys – most of which I haven’t seen in a long long time.
We spoke for hours on end about family, jobs, memories and the future. I actually think my jaw is still sore after 4 hours of non-stop blabbering. Our principal, deputy and year co-ordinator all came along which made it extra special – it felt like we were back there for just another morning roll call.
Here are 5 things I learnt through the experience:
People stay the same
Everyone had changed in little ways. Some had lost weight. Some had gained it. Some had found success while others were still finding their way. But the overall characteristics were still the same. The people I spoke to on the weekend were still the same people I went to school with. It reminded me of how important the schooling years are in forming an individual’s identity, as it is something that really follows that person in to the future. This is why I love doing what we do at Alchemy – as a private tutor I have a unique opportunity to motivate and inspire young people to achieve more than they think possible. That attitude that is formed will shape their view of the world later on.
We all want the same things
The anchoring point was the desire for meaning. There is a strange transition from school, where your entire focus is on the HSC, to being out of school and suddenly having to find your own purpose – your own reason for existence. Speaking to people 10 years on, and most people had found theirs. Naturally, it is a journey, so for most of us we are still on our way. But it was great to see that even those who left school without any real direction had found something to devote themselves to.
Whilst an ATAR won’t determine the future, it does have its influences.
I’m going to be honest. I can’t even remember the ATAR I got (or UAI as it was called then) and I’m sure it is the same for most people +10 years out of school. I don’t at all believe that the number you get in your HSC will determine anything about your future, but I do believe that the effort you put in will stick with you later on. Hard work is a habit, and if one is able to build that muscle during the HSC it will follow them in to the working world. Those who had found the most success in their jobs were the ones who worked the hardest in their HSC – not necessarily the ones who had got the highest ATAR. In my opinion, hard work trumps natural academic ability any day.
Social skills win
I’ve said it before, but I am a firm believer that social skills are the new qualifications. Obviously, there are many footnotes under that statement – I get that for many careers you need the qualifications etc, but overall, those who had found the greatest level of success were those who could communicate, relate and listen to others. Many of those who seemed to be experiencing success (*see the next point) didn’t go to University or do well in school, but had a great ability to connect with people naturally. This formed authentic relationships that would then open doors for them. These foundational social skills were all formed in school – and had significant impact later on.
Success is an individual viewpoint.
I know I have mentioned ‘success’ in this post a bit, but I really noticed that success is a personal thing. Success is a different thing to me as it is to someone else. While some guys were proud of the money they earned, others were proud of their fiancees, wives or kids. Some saw success as a business with 100+ staff, others saw it as bringing on their first apprentice in their trade. This comes back to the 2nd point I made about meaning – it is crucial that every person finds their own measure of success and tracks it against themselves – not those around them. For a person to ever feel fulfilled they need to have their own criteria for success and not pay attention to the ‘successes’ of those around them.
It was a good night, and I can’t wait to see what the next ten years hold.Considering a tutor for your child? We can help! We have amazing tutors ready to go that will help your child grow in confidence, love the learning experience and ultimately realise what they are capable of. Learn more here and book their first lesson online today!