Today Year 12s across the country start their final exam, the Higher School Certificate.
|Me, aged 17, back in 1989|
My final year of school passed in a blur. I don't think I really understood the significance of it all. And the course I wanted to get into, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Equine Studies (yes horses) had a relatively low mark. I knew I could achieve it in pretty much the same way I'd achieved most things up to that point, by doing the bare minimum.
And so I did.
I got into that degree. Discovered boys and alcohol. Failed my first year in a very spectacular fashion and dropped out.
Thus began my glorious academic career.
Some years later, now working full time as a PA, I decided to go back to University. But with the smear of that first year on my academic record they weren't particularly interested. So I did a University Re-entry Program which was run by UNSW. In Maths my HSC mark had been 57, and to get into the course I wanted (Economics) I needed 60. So I went back to TAFE at the same time and re-did HSC Maths.
It was awful. I have no idea how I managed to complete seven subjects at that level back when I was 17. It was so full on. And confusing. And HARD.
But I did it. I worked full time, did the re-entry course (which included doing four Uni subjects) and the HSC maths.
I did well in everything. And when I logged in to get my HSC Maths mark, one cold January morning (I was, at the time, at my Aunts house in the UK) I fully expected a good mark and it'd be smooth sailing from there. I'd worked my bum off. I'd done everything that was required.
I got 57.
All that work, and still 3 marks short.
Luckily I was able to enrol in an Arts Degree and make Economics my major, so I was still able to take the subjects I needed in the hope I could switch to a full Economics degree in second year (which I did, and changed to Macquarie University, so it worked out).
In a blow that I am still injured by, UNSW dropped the requirement to have 60 in Maths the following year.
So good luck all you Year 12s. Keep Calm. Carry On. And you're not going to end up where you think. I promise you that :)