This time of year can kinda suck – and it’s okay if you’re feeling the pinch at the moment. It can be tough to see why you should keep trying through QCE.
But like, imagine this:
It’s your final ever QCE exam. “Pens down – that’s time up.” You lean back in your chair, wait for the invigilator to take your paper (you give them a little “thanks” as they do so – just to show them that you’re not a stereotypical teenager), and reflect. You know you’ve given QCE all you had – and now, suddenly, the relief can hit.
As you walk out of the exam room, you look up into the sky. A beautiful blue – a rainbow in the distance. Birds chirping. Children playing. People whistling in the almost-Summer breeze. And your shoulders feel remarkably light. You have not days, not weeks, but months to do as you please. QCE is over. Forever.
… that’s obviously a little hyperbolic. When I finished my last exam, it was grey and a little drizzly. And post-school life isn’t all fun and games, as the passage above might have indicated. But the reality is, the feeling of finishing school is worth working toward.
Strolling out of your exam room after more than a decade of education – with full knowledge that you gave Year 12 everything – is definitely something you’ll remember.
If my little anecdotes haven’t yet convinced you, here are some other things to consider.
Finishing school is a huge achievement in itself, and that certainly shouldn’t be understated. For many, it acts as a stepping stone to the next stage of life – whether work, travel, or further study. So if you’re not about the whole “try hard this year because it’ll feel good when you finish” vibes I’ve been pushing, there are still other reasons to give your best.
Perhaps most prominently, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of (most quickly) doing what you want to do most.
I’m sure there have been countless students who wanted to get into Med, or Laws, or Engineering, or Arts, or Design, or whatever – but didn’t. In a lot of those cases, what would the difference have been between getting in and not?
Probably just – simply – hard work. Dedication. Persistence. Consistency. Resilience. (Pretty sure I just rattled off all of the values of my primary school.)
So if you have an idea of what you want to do next year (no matter how vague or undefined), that’s worth working toward. And the best possible way to prepare for course selection is to have available to you as many options as possible.
If you end up getting a 90.00 ATAR but “only” needed a 75.00, there’s absolutely no harm in that. After all, it’s better than falling just short.
My ATAR was 99+ in the end. For most of the year, I didn’t think I’d even need an ATAR for the course I wanted to pursue. But I changed my mind at the last minute – and it’s extremely lucky that I hadn’t just given up during the year.
Bruh, no dice.
If you genuinely have no idea what you want to do next year, it’s debatably even more important that you don’t give up right now.
Just… don’t do it.
Further to the “it will feel good when you finish” and “keep your doors open” vibes, another reason to keep on truckin’ is this: Year 12 – QCE generally – is about so much more than marks. It’s probably difficult to see that as clearly right now as you likely will in several years’ time, but it’s true.
You’ve hard it before: your ATAR doesn’t define you.
What does define you is your character – and your character will be tested this year. It most likely already has been. The ways in which you respond to certain circumstances, the ways in which you deal with challenges, the ways in which you bounce back – these are the most important things you’ll learn.
Consider each and every day an opportunity to improve. It doesn’t have to be in a big or noticeable way – but work on something every day. You’ll be better for it in the long-run.
Again, no dice.
Even from here, there’s nothing stopping you from amazing successes this year. There are very many stories of students who started off slowly, but aced it in the end.
To link this back to what I was saying just before, disappointment is something that’s going to come up from time to time. If you’re disappointed with your assessment marks and, subsequently, just give up – what sort of precedent does that set for the rest of your life? (Not a very good one.)
And that is why you should keep trying rn*: inner-drive, flexibility, and precedent.
*Or, more accurately, some of the reasons you should keep trying rn.