Wednesday, 17 October 2012

HSC Students- Keep calm and remember Plan B

18? Just finished school? The world is your oyster. 
A topic I'm reading a fair bit about at the moment relates to the kids currently sitting their HSC or OP or VCE or whatever the state you're in calls it.

Only last night I was having a big shouty rampage to my bookclub (we'd had our 20 minutes talk about the book and had moved on to other important things) about the excessive pressure HSC students face to do well in their exams.  Many of them are completely freaking out, often because they see this as their only opportunity to do well, and enter university or tertiary education in the course they want. 

This is so far from the truth.  Speaking wisely from my vantage point of 40 I can safely say, while you should study hard for your exams, even if you don't end up getting the marks for the course you want, there will be another possibility or opportunity waiting for you.  Really.  

It could even be, that you come across your dream career BECAUSE you didn't get into your preferred course.  You might meet your soulmate at the University you didn't want to go to, or your new best friend might sit next to you in your first lecture, or your part time job might lead to a career path you never considered.

The excellent Bec Sparrow wrote this on Mamamia today.

"Your final grade is just one little moment in time.  The truth is the people who are living big, exciting lives; the people who are living their dreams, who are making a mark are not necessarily the people who got straight A’s... They are the people who are resilient. And persistent. They are the people who had faith in themselves and kept going."

She also says, "If you REALLY want to study something, you’ll find a way to do it."

Now THAT is what I'm going to tell my kids.  And I'm going to work hard at giving them resilience, and persistence, and faith in themselves. 

Finally, Bec Sparrow wrote, "And then there are life’s late bloomers. For a whole range of reasons some people just don’t do well in high school. Maybe because of stuff that’s going on at home. Maybe because they’re not a great fit for the school they attend. Maybe because their head just isn’t in the right place. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go on to great things."

That is so me.  I just didn't do well at school.  I had a lot of s**t going on in my head and I struggled socially.  Really badly.  But because I didn't get in to the University of Qld or QUT, I ended up at Griffith University.  Studying Commerce.  And met myself a group of friends who I still keep in touch with today. 

God we had so much fun.

And the really funny thing is only one of us is doing anything even remotely like what we were studying.  The rest of us have moved on to careers and jobs that, with the benefit of hindsight and a bit of maturity, were much better suited to our skills and personalities.

I don't regret my commerce degree, or the years I spent as an accountant (much). And I may not have gone on to great things by traditional standards but they seem pretty great to me.