OUR SAY: HSC exam results are important but not life defining

It will seem like only minutes to midnight for the Central West’s HSC students feverishly cramming for the strenuous exams starting on Monday.

This is the big one. Students will be anxious, stressed, doubtful and some even fearful.

Much is riding on the results they need to achieve … for jobs now or for the ATAR scores they need to get into the university degrees of their choice. And, for either group, getting a strong base on which to build future careers.

Many will have spent the recent school holiday break glued to books in preparation.

The pressure to perform, to achieve high success – on top of that already stacked up since the start of Year 11 – is enormous.

As if that is not enough, there are also the doubts and uncertainty about leaving school – even if you “hated the place” – and joining the adult world. Another set of challenges with their own scary elements.

Each student needs to do their very best. That is obvious. But, they and their families should take on board one fact.

When the clock reaches midnight, it is not Doomsday. It is only the end of one phase and the start of another. The clock rolls on, as will the students.

Life is not defined by one exam, an HSC or ATAR score. They are certainly important, but in reality are just more building blocks to an individual’s desired future.

Not the end, but a beginning.

While parents will want students to meet or exceed expectations and fulfil aspirations, they need to provide re-assurance.

If students achieve less now than they hoped to that is not a barrier to ultimate success. There is always a second chance. If marks are not what they expected they can have another go, choose another course or find a different path to reach their goals.

If school taught them anything, it would be try, try, try again. That is how you succeed.

Today’s high-speed connected world is one of constant change and new opportunities for self-improvement and advancement. Many people have had early-life setbacks and gone on to achieve great things in the whole range of human activities.

Students have put in a huge effort so far and should go for their best possible performance. There may be setbacks or challenges. If so, don’t be depressed. Try again. 

The Central Western Daily wishes the best of luck (and results) to all students completing the HSC and school in 2017.