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So You Got Your ATAR!

— By 14 December 2015

Congratulations! You are now totally, completely free from everything high school. No more waiting, no more paperwork and (probably) no more graduation ceremonies. You’re free!

Now for the next waiting game: your courses. 

If you’re anything like me, you might have already had to accept that your first preference is out the window. I was about 20 points below the previous year’s requirement for my first preference (and, okay, I set the bar a little high aiming for a course with a requirement of 96, but I was determined damn it!), and I definitely threw a tantrum about it.

It sucks. A lot. There’s no denying that not getting into your course feels pretty damn shit. What I can promise you, though, is that it’s not all over. 

I know you’ve heard the spiel a thousand times- your teachers, guidance counsellor, principal and whoever else have probably tried to remind you. But right now, as someone who didn’t get into my course, I’m going to say it again: your life isn’t over.

There’s a thousand other pathways into that course. There’s a thousand other courses like that course. There’s a thousand TAFEs eager to have you, a thousand students who are about to decide they hate that degree and drop out, and a thousand different degrees that you might just end up liking better. There’s a thousand jobs where the degrees are totally unnecessary, and a thousand different places you can go adventuring or volunteering or working or whatever-ing before you apply again as a mature age student… and I think you get the picture.

Whether you didn’t get an ATAR, you got the wrong ATAR or you just aren’t quite sure if it’ll be good enough this year, there’s plenty of options for you. The world is not about to collapse on your head. While a few days of emotionally eating ice cream from the bucket might sound good right now, it isn’t your only option for the future.

As it turns out, I did the same degree at another university and absolutely hated it. I didn’t even last a year. About half my course dropped out and were replaced by transferring second years from other courses. People ended up where they wanted to be, or found something better. You will too! 

For now, don’t panic over the number. Don’t spend the next three months checking The Age website in desperate hopes that your university might just announce something different just for you. It’s not worth it. Go out and enjoy your freedom!

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