No doubt every Year 12 student of this year is growing more and more nervous by the day as December 12th creeps closer. Exams have come and gone and holidays have begun, but the apprehension of results still loom.

I remember the moment I received my results like it was yesterday:

I had signed up for getting text results so that I would receive the all important four-digit-number on my phone at 7am. I woke up an hour or so before the scheduled release time, about forty-five minutes before the alarm I had set the night before. I wasn’t able to sleep till quite late due to the anxiety that plagued me on the eve of results day, so it was a wonder how I was able to naturally wake up so early with so little sleep. I guess the trepidation had managed to seep its way into my slumber, waking me up.

And thus, I was subject to one hour of agony as I waited for the clock to hit 7 o’clock. Around 6:50 I heard the ‘ding’ of a text being received on my phone. I remember actually feeling my heart stop, my blood running cold. My phone was lying on the floor next to my bed where I had kept it charging overnight. As I peered over the edge of my mattress I saw only a blur of a newly received text lighted up on my phone. I was unable to make out any of the numbers or words due to my near-sightedness (I was not wearing my glasses), I wasn’t even able to make out who the text was from. But somehow I knew; I knew that text was from VCAA and VTAC, trying to kill me one more time by sending the text out ten minutes before the scheduled time. I was not ready.

I rolled back onto the bed, gathering myself, trying to calm my breaths and my heart which had both tripled in speed (it did not work), and peered back over at the screen of my phone which was still displaying the text on the locked screen. I reached down, arm trembling, and bought the phone slowly up towards me. The closer it got, the clearer the characters in the text became. I wasn’t expecting the ATAR to be on the very first line of the text. I didn’t even need to open up the whole text to see it. There it was, those four digits, the culmination of all my hard work in the last 6 years….

I had done better than I expected. I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders, realising then just how nervous and anxious I had really been. I ran to the rooms of each of my family members, crying as I told them. I rejoiced with my friends over messenger, not only about our results but also about our newfound freedom to enjoy our well-earned holidays blissfully without the stress or worry about looming ATARS.

Every student who undertook VCE will have their own story, their own memories of that day. Some may have been more nervous than me, some may not have been nervous at all. Some may have not slept at all the night before, some may not have even checked their results until a week later. Like me, some students will have done better than they thought, some will have been bitterly disappointed and some will have done just as they thought they would. There will have been tears, celebration, indifference even.

One thing that we all shared was that…life went on.

It’s been said a million times but your ATAR is not the be all, end all of everything. And likewise, results day is not Doomsday, as much as it may seem like it.  That’s not to say that its not important; the result you receive may present some changes to your pathway plan or challenges you’ll have to face in the future. But that’s the key word: future. The receiving of your ATAR is not the end, it is only the beginning. Whether it be going off to university, taking a gap year or something else, you have a whole new chapter of your life to look forward to.

Just remember, your ATAR is the key to only one of the doors leading to your ultimate goal. There are numerous pathways to where you want to go, and sure, the road you may now have to take may be a little bit longer, but as long as you persist and believe in yourself, as long as you want it and work hard for it, you can get there. And for those who don’t quite know what their ultimate goal is yet; that’s okay. You’re often under the impression that you must choose your life career during course selection in Year 12, but the truth is, you have a lot of time to experiment and find what you like during tertiary study, if you choose to undertake it.

Whatever happens on December 12th (or whatever has happened if you're one of those who received your results early :P) , the TQ Team would like to congratulate all the VCE students of this year on completing their Year 12. Whatever the result you receive, be proud of your efforts and we wish you the best of luck for the future!

- Written by Anna :>