This year our Class of 2012 are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their graduation. Elizabeth Arthurs shares her story since graduating from the College.
Reflection on your time at Nagle.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves that high school is meant to be the “best years of our lives”, but if you are reading this and you are struggling, I want you to know that it is OK, and I promise life does get better after high school. When all you have done is attend school everyday from kindy to Year 12 it’s hard to fathom life outside of that. My baby sister is currently choosing her subjects for Year 11 next year so I have been recently reflecting a lot on my time in high school and have been forcing my (not so) wise words onto her. But like all things in life, she must go through this experience for herself and give herself space to make her own choices.
I was a classic overachiever at high school who studied far too much and worked far too hard for a good ATAR. I did little else for the two years, and sure, my name is up on the board in the Library in the “400 club” but who cares? Upon reflection, I wish that I had spent more time being present, enjoying the company of my classmates, spending time with friends and doing some hobbies instead of stressing myself sick about getting the highest mark. Unless I wanted an assured pathway to medicine or wanted to become a Vet, then my ATAR really became a surplus. I wish that I had studied less and had more fun. No one cares what mark I got except for me. And no one cares to this day at work. I do not rock up to a new job and say “Hey, what ATAR did you get?”
Any advice for our students?
Getting a “good” ATAR is not the be-all and end-all, there is more to life than good grades and if you graduate with marks you are not happy with, it does not define you. You are not stupid and you are not a failure. And if you really want to get into a course that you initially did not get the marks for, you can make it happen some other way if it is truly what you want.
Some of the smartest people I know received marks they were not happy with and ended up doing their PHD! There are ways to get into university if you do not get the initial marks you want, and if you do not want to go to university and have plans to do a trade or get into a sector that doe not require a degree then that is equally as valid and important. University only seems to make sense these days for specific jobs or if you have an interest in a specific academic area that you wish to learn more about. We need people to do all sorts of jobs to make the world go round.
My younger brother chose not to complete ATAR and now he is studying Psychology at university. A friend of mine did not complete ATAR and now works high up in the Department of Communities earning more money than me! She started in an entry level job for Housing and climbed her way up. Do not pack everything in to focus on Years 11 and 12. If you are working a little job on the side, if you are playing sport or music or have a hobby you really enjoy, my advice would be to keep going with those things, because the older you get, the more thankful you will be to have rich and fulfilling ways to spend your time.
Life is more than the job you choose or the career you study. My goal this year is to fill my cup up with things I enjoy, hobbies, experiences, travel, time with friends and family. Monday to Friday I pay my rent by working as a social worker, but I do not like to identify solely as that. I am more than the work I do.
The best bit of advice I received from a former mentor at university was “what do you want your day to look like?”, that helped me narrow down my career choice to social work. And honestly, I am not sure if this is something I will do until I retire. And that is ok! I am still a bit lost and trying to figure it out. That is called being an adult. The secret is, we all pretend we know what we are doing…
If anyone would like to reach out and discuss social work as a possible career choice or would like to get in touch in general, my email address is: Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck xx
Everybody has a story and we always love to hear from our Alumni, on where they are now and how they got there. Their achievements and challenges, their thoughts and observations, could serve as an inspiration to fellow Alumni, as well as current and prospective students.
To share your story, please complete the this form: Alumni: Share your story