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September 27, 2023, 03:13:06 pm

Author Topic: any post-VCE or university students/graduates still upset about their ATAR?  (Read 13147 times)  Share 

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strawberries

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Hi all,

Firstly, I don't know if this is the right section to post it in and mods please move it if necessary.

This might be a really 'weird' thread and might come off as 'offensive' or 'mean' to some people, but I really hope it doesn't because this was not the intention of my post. I am also not fishing for compliments/sympathy either.

Just wondering though, has anyone who has completed their VCE and is probably already at university/graduated that are still upset about their VCE results/ATAR?
It's been over a month since our results came out, and I still can't get over it.
And you know what sucks? I knew that 3-4 months into the school year last year that I wasn't going to do well due to not-so-great SAC marks (yes, SACs do matter) and even before the year started I knew I would fail, despite wanting/aiming for a 'high' ATAR.
Now I wonder why I even bothered trying in the latter half of the year, if I already knew I wasn't going to do well. There's a saying which goes 'if you're not gonna do it properly, don't do it at all'. It wouldn't make a difference anyway as I knew I wouldn't get a 'super high' ATAR anyway.

Yes, I did get into my desired course, but obviously far from a scholarship (I know you can get scholarships later in uni but you have to like work hard for one year = 1 year of fees gone). I know ATAR doesn't matter if you get in to what you want to do, I know, and I know it's not a bragging right (I'm not the type of person to brag about my accomplishments either). However, in this part, I still feel like I failed. How can I even 'succeed' or do well in university if I couldn't even pass basic high school concepts? I know there are people who don't do well in high school but succeed in uni, but that depends on what you're doing. Considering VCE and university are both largely academic too.

It's still been bothering me for the past few weeks, idk if I'm the only one. I'm basically embarrassed to be alive right now, and barely done anything useful these holidays. Yes, I know there are people who got lower ATARs than me, but to be honest, I did subjects which all scaled up and although they got lots of 40s and stuff, their subjects all scaled down which resulted in a lower ATAR but they're far more 'intelligent' than I am. And yes, I know that ATAR is not a measure of intelligence but I'm not like a 'street smart' or 'social' person anyway.

I've heard stories of people who've bounced back from low ATARs, but I'm not one of those 'successful' people. I know employers don't care about ATARs either. I know that.
I haven't even told anyone about my ATAR (only my parents and a couple of people on here know), and even if I did do well and wouldn't tell anyone either. But I can so imagine if I ever have kids and they will ask about how I did in high school and blame me for all their issues etc

So yeah, does anyone still get upset about it?
Once again, sorry if this offended anyone. I'm kinda curious to know if on a forum of such hardworking, high-achieving individuals still get worked up about it.
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extremeftw

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 Well, you need to realise that in life you will always have disappointments. There is no use being depressed about them for an eternity because that accomplishes absolutely nothing.

 I was highly disappointed in my ATAR for awhile, but you get over it. I think once you see how meaningless your ATAR is after you start university, that you will start to not care about it so much. I sometimes feel that being an active participant in communities like ATARnotes can put you in a bubble where people become transfixed on their ATAR to the point where everything else in their lives becomes secondary. That isn't healthy.

 You'll be fine. Go and smash uni :).

spectroscopy

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i was upset til uni starts and once that happens you will quickly realise how little atar matters and how stupid(albeit arguably necessary) the competition in vce was. there is enough marks to go around in uni and i know lots of kids who got sub 60 atars and after a couple years of transferring up from vu-> la trobe -> melbourne are now getting solid 90+ (which is RIDICULOUS btw) in every subject.
you really really wont care once uni and uni assignments start and your uni average becomes important. if you feel really inadequate about your atar just make sure you go ham in uni to make up for it ;)

Dejan

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I was pretty devastated with my ATAR and after a year of uni, the ATAR score becomes so meaningless that I have told people my ATAR score quite comfortably. Although, I do wish on rare occasions that I could go back and get a higher ATAR.

pi

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Very brave of you to post strawberries, I'll be honest here and share some personal experiences and thoughts. Might also be offensive to some people, but this was genuinely how I felt at the time, and I'm not going to apologise for that.

Just wondering though, has anyone who has completed their VCE and is probably already at university/graduated that are still upset about their VCE results/ATAR?

Yes... and no. How I did in school isn't something I reflect upon much these days, perhaps I reflected more when I was your stage, but it still bites at times. Sometimes, reading posts on here and formulating my own replies with advice, I wonder what would have happened if I had done X, Y or Z, or tried harder and took A, B or C more seriously. I think it was only a couple of years ago where I found myself procrastiworrying during exams by plugging in a few numbers into the ATAR Calc to see what I could have done with my VCE. Now I have moved on, but it took some time.

Ultimately, I don't think these thoughts are anything to be ashamed about. The way I see it, if you felt like you under-performed and then were able to brush that performance away like it wasn't a big deal, then that would be a sign that either you have an extremely good willpower to forgive yourself, or you didn't care. Often I see on the forum people, myself included (probably), comment that "the ATAR doesn't really matter much after offers are released" or that "no one cares about ATARs after school". Honestly, at the time after graduating my own VCE, I didn't really agree with either of those. That's because I saw the ATAR as a culmination of 13 years of academia, and that was honestly a really big deal to me, especially because I felt I didn't do very well. Sure, there are ways to get to a course with a lower ATAR, but why would someone want to take that longer pathway when a shorter one is available? Sure, once you make the ATAR for your desired course the number itself doesn't matter according to VTAC, but I wasn't VTAC? I judged myself on how my ATAR was because in terms of academics, it was the only thing that had really mattered for so long.

However, I don't think that beating oneself over it is 'healthy' for one's well-being. It happens, but it's not productive and doesn't achieve anything. It took me a while, especially because the course I was in was full of people with these super high ATARs and I was once reminded on my first day of that with some guy making the cheeky comment "hey, you have the lowest ATAR in this row!" during a lecture (fkn med kids, honestly...). I felt inferior to most of my peers for a large portion of the first semester, felt like I didn't deserve to be in the company of people who got more 50s than most schools and were household names to all Indian and Asian families (slightly racist, soz) in Victoria. That was not healthy.

I think how I got through it was by reflecting on my VCE and accepting that whilst I did badly in many areas, I also did well in many areas too (make a list and write it down!). And it took a while, but I accepted that that's just life: you win some and you lose some. And I promised to myself that next time I did something, I'd win more than I lost, unlike VCE. I developed a desire to improve myself, and I honestly don't think I had this desire in VCE. In VCE my desire was to get a %, get a study score, get an ATAR. Now, my goal is improve, to improve that win:loss ratio. Whilst I still think scores are important, I feel much more comfortable being happy with my level knowledge and acknowledging that if I get a mark that I consider to be below par, that there are two things in play: 1. shit happens; and 2. I still have more improving to do. I don't beat myself up about it, I use it as fuel to improve, and I think that's how I turned it around for myself.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I understand the exact frustration/disappointment/other emotion that you're feeling right now, but I just want to make sure someone tells you that it's not a bad thing to have those thoughts.

Now I wonder why I even bothered trying in the latter half of the year, if I already knew I wasn't going to do well. There's a saying which goes 'if you're not gonna do it properly, don't do it at all'. It wouldn't make a difference anyway as I knew I wouldn't get a 'super high' ATAR anyway.

I don't know if it will help, but I think you did the right thing by trying.

How can I even 'succeed' or do well in university if I couldn't even pass basic high school concepts?

As you can probably gather, I felt a bit like this too. I think the important thing to realise is that uni is a clean slate. The way you study is completely different, the way you interact with people is completely different, and the opportunities you have are completely different. You get a fresh start and I'm without a doubt that you'll 'bounce back' and excel :)

And yes, I know that ATAR is not a measure of intelligence but I'm not like a 'street smart' or 'social' person anyway.

I've met some very interesting people from AN and just from generally living (lol), and having had the pleasure of briefly meeting and talking to you, I've got to say you're definitely not someone who appears to have any sort of socialising issues haha. I think at the moment, and again I don't pretend to understand how exactly you're feeling, but I get the sense that you're just frustrated at a lot of things and are critiquing yourself perhaps a little too harshly! :P

But I can so imagine if I ever have kids and they will ask about how I did in high school and blame me for all their issues etc

Of everything you wrote, this was really the line that stood out to me the most.

Again, I don't think this is an unusual thought or something to be ashamed about. I'd like to think that most of us sometimes think about the future and what that holds, formulating up scenarios and playing them in our head. These scenarios we create can range from optimistic to pessimistic, and the impression I'm getting is that this one leans towards the latter. As a child of two parents (feels odd to say that LOL) I would never have thoughts like that about my parents, and I'm sure you wouldn't either.


I'm not sure if any of this made sense, but those are my thoughts on this. It's something that's probably more common than you think. I'm very confident you'll pull through :)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 11:20:02 pm by pi »

lzxnl

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I'll put it this way.

When I talk to people, I should have nothing to fear when talking about my ATAR, right? That's not the case. People literally just don't give a damn, and talking/boasting about your ATAR results in one of two things.
1. Someone else has a higher ATAR than you and laughs at you for showing off.
2. People label you a petty arrogant show-off.

I think quite a few of my friends don't know my ATAR. All my almost-graduated chemistry friends certainly don't (aside from a Chancellors student). Trust me, no one cares. I only know the ATARs of Chancellors Scholars and a few others from my high school. I don't know the ATARs of pretty much any of my friends, because no one cares.

I can't emphasise this enough. No. One. Cares. About. ATARs. At. Uni.
At least, those worth hanging around don't care.
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Well you shouldn't get too hung up about it, my ATAR was much lower than what I knew I could achieve (due to difficult circumstances throughout VCE), but I intend on destroying uni next year regardless.

As many sportspeople say, 80 percent of competition in any sport is purely the mental aspect of it, and if your mindset is in the wrong place then it is ultimately reflected in your results. So I suggest to alter your current way of thinking by any means possible, as it leads to a dark road of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Please keep in mind, VCE is an absolutely horrendous soul sucking beast that is rigidly structured and a slog to push through. But in uni, there is much greater freedom in your courses, and there is minimal (if any) emphasis on scaling/ranking, and you will simply be given what you put in.

Don't let your problems define you, refuse to live a life of regret, rise above them and define yourself.

Good luck :)
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pi

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I can't emphasise this enough. No. One. Cares. About. ATARs. At. Uni.
At least, those worth hanging around don't care.

You could probably find 10 posts of mine where I say something similar. Heck, maybe even 20 posts.

But in retrospect, I don't think it's a helpful or necessarily true thing to say.

In an ideal world, no one would care. We'd move from year 12 to uni seamlessly just worrying about when the next toga party was on. But the reality is that many people do, especially towards the start of uni. Some are vocal about it (there was a dude in second year looking up 40+ lists during a lecture haha), some aren't (I wasn't vocal). I think instead of suggesting that "those worth hanging around don't care" and belittling those who do care as lame social outcasts with no life (not that you made that implication in your post!), we should instead help these people make the transition and understand why they feel the way they do.

We all deal with disappointment in different ways. Some are lucky to be happy with how they went in school and can transition with next to no regrets, others not so. I think we have a duty of care for this second group of people.

Just my 2c.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 11:30:09 pm by pi »

heids

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Haven't read pi's answer yet but I'm guessing it's a million times more insightful than mine lol :P  Apologies for preaching so horribly .... preachily and so horribly long, but I guess that it was more talking myself through the issue - because while I obviously can't tell exactly how you feel, I struggle with those feelings of failure and inadequacy myself (though not about ATARs).

You don't need to feel bad about feeling bad, if that makes sense.  It's okay to feel that you've failed and you aren't the person you wish you could be.

Quote
It's still been bothering me for the past few weeks, idk if I'm the only one. I'm basically embarrassed to be alive right now, and barely done anything useful these holidays.
I want you to know that no matter what, you're not not not the only one.  Everyone puts on an outer mask to make themselves look to everyone else more secure, in control, and smart than they actually are.  Because we only see the actual truth (of insecurity, dishonesty, fear, dumbness, awkwardness, weakness etc.) in ourselves, we think we must be much worse than everyone else. 

(In fact, you seem to be a step ahead, because you're actually willing to discuss your vulnerabilities in public - a rare trait that I really respect).

I know I constantly look at everyone else round me and think 'they're successes, I'm not'.  On AN, for instance, when I look at the 'greats' (pi, lauren, joseph, thushan etc.), I just feel inadequate to be round this community.  From their posts, they're clearly so much smarter and more insightful than me, they have it together, they balance med school with bookwriting and AN too and compared with them, I'm absolutely nothing.  I'm often scared about the inadequacy of my posts and the fact that I procrastinate so much and get nothing done.  I have a day off tomorrow, and I've already predicted in my head that I'll get nothing done - because I never do, it feels.

Long story short: when I compare what I see of myself with what I see of others, I feel embarrassed to be alive too.  There are some massively arrogant and egotistical people that probably don't feel this way, but for most of us - I think it's pretty normal.

I'm repeating this because I know that you feel a bit stressed and inferior about your course, your clothes, your social skills etc.  Just believe me that what you see on the outside isn't what's actually on the inside, and no one is the glamorous success they look.  They're no different from you, or from what you can become if you focus on learning from your failure.

on a forum of such hardworking, high-achieving individuals
(and again, this sums it up - do I appear to you to be one of the hardworking, high-achieving individuals?  I tell you, I don't feel it.  I tell you that I'm even currently feeling bad about what people might think about this post.  That's how you're labelling the people on the forum, but they don't necessarily feel that way about themselves)




So basically: I want you to accept that failure is actually normal, and it's also normal to feel like a failure.  Even the people who you respect and see as the massivest successes on earth actually feel pretty similar, and they're probably not as great on the inside as they look on the outside.  They've all made and are making similar mistakes to you - but they're trying not to let it get them down.  You're no worse than anyone else.  We're all pretty dumb.  Fact.

Failure is a fact of life, but it hurts and it makes you feel dumb.  That's okay.  But failure is actually super cool because it's the thing that lets you grow.  This failure isn't an eternal scar - it's your pathway to improving in the future.  We just can't help failing, but we can learn from our mistakes and use them to improve.  You don't fail, you don't grow.  Failing is legitimately your freeway to becoming bigger and better and someone that you can actually respect.

I really want you to believe this, because if you can, you'll start to actually grow and develop from your failures rather than hugging them tight and getting more and more depressed. The more you hug past failures and try not to step out in case you make more failures, the more you hold yourself down to that level rather than moving closer to what you actually want to be.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 12:20:16 am by bangali »
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appleandbee

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Very brave of you to post strawberries, I'll be honest here and share some personal experiences and thoughts. Might also be offensive to some people, but this was genuinely how I felt at the time, and I'm not going to apologise for that.

Yes... and no. How I did in school isn't something I reflect upon much these days, perhaps I reflected more when I was your stage, but it still bites at times. Sometimes, reading posts on here and formulating my own replies with advice, I wonder what would have happened if I had done X, Y or Z, or tried harder and took A, B or C more seriously. I think it was only a couple of years ago where I found myself procrastiworrying during exams by plugging in a few numbers into the ATAR Calc to see what I could have done with my VCE. Now I have moved on, but it took some time.

Ultimately, I don't think these thoughts are anything to be ashamed about. The way I see it, if you felt like you under-performed and then were able to brush that performance away like it wasn't a big deal, then that would be a sign that either you have an extremely good willpower to forgive yourself, or you didn't care. Often I see on the forum people, myself included (probably), comment that "the ATAR doesn't really matter much after offers are released" or that "no one cares about ATARs after school". Honestly, at the time after graduating my own VCE, I didn't really agree with either of those. That's because I saw the ATAR as a culmination of 13 years of academia, and that was honestly a really big deal to me, especially because I felt I didn't do very well. Sure, there are ways to get to a course with a lower ATAR, but why would someone want to take that longer pathway when a shorter one is available? Sure, once you make the ATAR for your desired course the number itself doesn't matter according to VTAC, but I wasn't VTAC? I judged myself on how my ATAR was because in terms of academics, it was the only thing that had really mattered for so long.

However, I don't think that beating oneself over it is 'healthy' for one's well-being. It happens, but it's not productive and doesn't achieve anything.

Amen. Epitomised my thoughts perfectly. I got a respectable ATAR myself, one that I would dream of achieving when I was in year 10 and could get me into any course. I felt bitter-sweet and empty over my results, because I may (itís a pretty hypothetical word but you never really know your capabilities until you improve or extend yourself beyond your Ďlimitsí), have done better if I was more efficient, procrastinated less throughout the year (thanks AN and Facey), didn't give up/try half-heartedly on certain subjects after a disappointing SAC result (Chem, Methods and English), paid more attention to my weaknesses and put more effort when it counts (I lost motivation and got burnt out during exam period and close to it). The stress made me procrastinate more.  As a champion of the notion of doing your best in everything you do, I didn't really do my best or try my hardest. While I do have regrets and would do things differently if I had the chance again, itís neither constructive nor helpful to continually dwell on the past. At the same time, there are definitely lessons I can take away from the VCE experience such as study skills which I hope to improve on for uni (high grades in uni isn't a walk in the park but obviously achievable with a combination of aptitude for the course/subjects, organisation and effective study skills-I did uni extension along with VCE last year). At least you got into the course you wanted (that youíll hopefully enjoy), I know many high-achievers who are very unhappy in their course.

I don't know if it will help, but I think you did the right thing by trying.

Yep, being pissed about it isnít going to help you in moving forward. In addition, as Pi said, I think you did the right thing in trying, because you never know your capabilities of doing until you try (even if itís considered too late). Itís always easier to talk in hindsight but at the time, it was the right thing. In my opinion, the cause/intentions/principles behind putting effort are no less important than the outcome. I sense your self-pride has been shattered (no shaming), which I think is the cause of your fear/insecurities.

As for scholarships, in the grand scheme of things from a financial point of view, itís not such a big deal (unless you come from an extremely poor family). The HECs system makes up for it. Iíll admit though, Chancellors is amazing-being debt free (most other scholarships have limited financial benefits though). In my opinion, the main Ďperksí of the scholarships are the prestige and potential networking. I rejected a half scholarship from ANU because there was I liked a course in Melbourne better. But yeah, as you said, itís possible to get scholarships in later years.
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nerdgasm

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Hello, strawberries.
It really seems like you're going through a tough period in your life right now. I'd like to thank you for sharing your (very personal) experiences with us. I would also like to say that if this keeps bogging you down, there are many places you can turn to for help, including some professional counselling/mental health/welfare services. Speaking up is often the hardest step, so well done on doing that.

And you know what sucks? I knew that 3-4 months into the school year last year that I wasn't going to do well due to not-so-great SAC marks (yes, SACs do matter) and even before the year started I knew I would fail, despite wanting/aiming for a 'high' ATAR.
Now I wonder why I even bothered trying in the latter half of the year, if I already knew I wasn't going to do well. There's a saying which goes 'if you're not gonna do it properly, don't do it at all'. It wouldn't make a difference anyway as I knew I wouldn't get a 'super high' ATAR anyway.

Yes, I did get into my desired course, but obviously far from a scholarship (I know you can get scholarships later in uni but you have to like work hard for one year = 1 year of fees gone). I know ATAR doesn't matter if you get in to what you want to do, I know, and I know it's not a bragging right (I'm not the type of person to brag about my accomplishments either). However, in this part, I still feel like I failed. How can I even 'succeed' or do well in university if I couldn't even pass basic high school concepts? I know there are people who don't do well in high school but succeed in uni, but that depends on what you're doing. Considering VCE and university are both largely academic too.

I understand where you're coming from. I have also asked myself "How can I even 'succeed or do well in university if I couldn't even pass basic high school concepts?". In fact, I asked myself this twice during Year 11 - once after a Maths Methods SAC, and once after an exam. In both cases, I went home and cried, and said to myself, "Maybe I should just become a janitor".

But I would like to offer a different perspective on what you're saying. In your own account, you mention that you kept trying, even when it seemed like you weren't going to succeed. And I think that you kept trying, because deep down, you knew that you still had a chance to influence your future. And you know what? You did! A while ago, I started seeing a counsellor. I had a tendency to beat myself up whenever I thought I was weak, or a failure. One of the things he said that has stayed with me since was the following: "It's OK to have negative thoughts sometimes. The main thing is to recognise that those thoughts *are* negative. And always remember to look on the other side of the coin. So, what's the other side of the coin here? Well, let's think about it this way. You got into your desired course! Had you stopped trying halfway throughout the year, that might not have happened! Yes, you did not get a scholarship - but you still get to study something you currently enjoy at university! That's better than not having the opportunity at all, right?

You mentioned the saying, "If you're not going to do it properly, don't do it at all". And you know, that shows that you take pride in what you do, and that you want to do it well. But here's the thing - doing VCE properly does not mean getting 50s in everything, or getting a 99+ ATAR, or getting to be the dux of your school. Doing VCE properly means picking yourself up after your setbacks. It means putting in the effort even if you can't really see what your life will be like 1, 5, or 10 years after. Isn't that really what life is about? I genuinely believe that by persevering, you have already set up one of the cornerstones of success in life, no matter what it is that happens in your future.

I know it's repeated to the point of being almost annoying, but it's true. University is different. I understand you're worried about your ability to cope with the academic demands of university. I'm not taking the same course as you (I think), but what I will say is that in my experience, listening to a university lecturer explain a topic is different (in a good way usually!) to listening to a high school teacher explain it. Sometimes, I questioned why I found a topic difficult in high school, when listening to a uni lecturer made it seem so simple! Another thing is, it's very rare that a uni lecturer will not answer your question 'because it's not in the course outline/study design'. One thing I have found about uni, is although people often say there's no handholding, there is support available, if you are willing to look, and especially if you are willing to learn. I'm sure all of us who have been at uni (even for just a year or a semester) will tell you that simply putting in a decent effort already puts you ahead of a fair number of people in your cohort/class/course.

I've heard stories of people who've bounced back from low ATARs, but I'm not one of those 'successful' people. I know employers don't care about ATARs either. I know that.
I haven't even told anyone about my ATAR (only my parents and a couple of people on here know), and even if I did do well and wouldn't tell anyone either. But I can so imagine if I ever have kids and they will ask about how I did in high school and blame me for all their issues etc

Why do you say you aren't one of those 'successful' people? How can anyone judge the ultimate success of a person before they're even 20? I know it's not easy to see or think in this way at the moment, but I honestly feel that you're depriving yourself of an opportunity to *become* one of those successful people, by already thinking that you aren't one. There is so much of your life left to live, before you can say whether you are ultimately successful or not. Yes, you may feel like you aren't successful at this point. And that's definitely a legitimate way to feel. But you will get more opportunities to prove yourself. Take a look at the 'fairytale' story of this year's Australian Open, for example. Zhang Shuai lost in the 1st round of her past 14 Grand Slam tournaments. On this 15th attempt, she had to play qualifying matches just to get into the main draw. She went on to knock out the World #2, and made it into the quarterfinal.
I'm sure that you, me, and everyone out there has thought about what their life would look like once they were 'successful'. And while there are as many different mental pictures as there are people, there is one trend that I think helps to make my point here: in the mental image of themselves being 'successful', most people see themselves being much older than you are now. That's because (whether consciously or subconsciously) they think that it's too early to decide before then. So please don't discount yourself now. As hard as it is to believe, there is still a lot of life left for you to live.
I'd like to share a quote with you that my father once told me:"Success isn't final, and failure isn't fatal". That pretty much sums up how I think life as a young adult is like.

Regarding how your future children will see you, again, let's look at the other side of the coin. Your kids may see you as a great parent, who brought them up well, supported them, guided them, and loved them. That's really no less possible than them seeing you as a bad parent and the cause of all their troubles. To me, trying to work out if your children will think you're a good parent based on your high school results, is like trying to work out what the weather forecast will be on your 40th birthday, based on what it was today. Neither of my parents finished Year 12. They didn't make what most people would consider a lot of money. I'm honestly still worried about their financial position now. Sometimes, they argue and shout at each other, over a variety of matters and because they're different people with different approaches. But I still love them very much for all they have done for me. Their lives have been filled with both positive and negative experiences, but they still found the time, commitment, and love to raise a child. And I'm sure that if you put in time, commitment and love, your children will love you too, no matter how you did in Year 12.

Orson

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there is enough marks to go around in uni and i know lots of kids who got sub 60 atars and after a couple years of transferring up from vu-> la trobe -> melbourne are now getting solid 90+ (which is RIDICULOUS btw) in every subject.

Thanks for that. You are already getting me fired up for this year!
2015: VCE
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biy

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I do not mean no offence at all, so please, PLEASE do not get this the wrong way.

It is actually really not surprising to me that most (not all) of the people replying saying that ATARs do not matter and that no one cares, are actually ones with the highest ATARs. Maybe because they have not tasted failure?

Idk, just something I picked up on from the atmosphere of this thread.

2014: Further (48) - Japanese (34)
2015: Chemistry (50) - Eng Lang (29) - Methods (35) - Specialist (44) - Biology (50)
ATAR: 99.90

keltingmeith

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Disclaimer: I have not read everyone elses responses, because soooo much reading. This is purely my own thoughts and responses to strawberries and nobody else.

In full honesty? I was super disappointed when I got my ATAR. Legitimately, my first thought when I got my ATAR (and I remember this vividly) was, "okay, I can work with that". Not, "OMG, I can get into my course with this", not, "oh wow, I can't believe I actually got xx", and certainly not, "this year was actually worth it." All that I felt was a feeling of relief, followed by the thought, "it's a good thing that I didn't apply interstate".

Considering the whole year was me juggling between Curtin (in Perth), UQ (Brisbane) and UNSW (Sydney), the thought that it was "good" that I didn't apply interstate was an upsetting one. It wasn't that I couldn't get into these unis - because I had a direct entrance to a BSc at unimelb. No, the biggest kicker was that my ATAR, no matter how good it was, did not feel like the ATAR that someone who was going to move out of home to another state should get.

The year that followed was even worse. With SEAS getting me into my dream course at Monash (yes, I got my DREAM course), I felt inadequate at every step. I'm sure by this point everyone has commented saying that, "at uni, nobody cares about ATARs", because this is true, and it's the first thing everyone says. However, I cared - and that was enough to make it feel like everybody else did, too. Hell, I was consciously aware that nobody cared about ATARs, and yet it still got to me and made me upset.

I remember I used to look at things like textbooks, and think to myself, "if only I had done x" or "if only I had done y" - it didn't help that I was about 2 ranks off some killer scholarships.

So, yes - after I got my ATAR, I was disappointed and upset. And yes, after a year following this, my feelings didn't change. I still remember starting tutoring and charging a measly $20 for my lessons, because I felt like I wasn't "worth" the more standard $30 that gets charged.


Take home message: you're not alone for feeling shit about your ATAR, no matter how far out you are. Honestly, people can tell you x and y to make it all better, but I personally reckon the only cure for this stuff is time. Time to help you realise, by personal experience, that the score becomes meaningless. Time for you to watch the world keep turning, and you still have a good time. Because, honestly, there wasn't some magical turning moment for me when it stopped being an issue, and there wasn't some day where I just woke up and I felt better about it all. Just gradually, day by day, I cared a little less each day, until eventually, in my second year of uni, I realised that I just wasn't thinking about it anymore. It had all, finally, ebbed away into nothingness.

lzxnl

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I do not mean no offence at all, so please, PLEASE do not get this the wrong way.

It is actually really not surprising to me that most (not all) of the people replying saying that ATARs do not matter and that no one cares, are actually ones with the highest ATARs. Maybe because they have not tasted failure?

Idk, just something I picked up on from the atmosphere of this thread.

I've talked to people with low 90s ATARs, and to me, it really doesn't matter to me that they got low 90s. The fact is, they're in the same degree as me, and I know nothing about them other than they're in my degree and they got a low 90s ATAR. I couldn't care less what someone else got for their ATAR, unless they're rubbing it in my face.

The point is, it's not the fact that I got 99.95. It's the fact that ATARs just mean nothing at uni to uni students in general, no matter what their ATAR is. It takes people different amounts of time to fully realise that fact, but trust me, I don't know any second year students at all that really care about ATARs.

Sure, I can understand that you may feel disappointed. We've all experienced failure in some form or another (yes, even us 99.95s experience failure, so please don't make assumptions about our lives just because of our ATAR; indeed, you're doing exactly what you're afraid of us doing, which is judging you by your ATAR), and failure takes time to get over. However, there is only so much you can learn from dwelling on the past. Once you've learned your lesson, move on, and you'll be better for it.
2012
Mathematical Methods (50) Chinese SL (45~52)

2013
English Language (50) Chemistry (50) Specialist Mathematics (49~54.9) Physics (49) UMEP Physics (96%) ATAR 99.95

2014-2016: University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science, Diploma in Mathematical Sciences (Applied Maths)

2017-2018: Master of Science (Applied Mathematics)

2019-2024: PhD, MIT (Applied Mathematics)

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