Dear Year 12 Students,
Some of you (NSW, South Australia) are already in the midst of your exams. VCE students, your exams start this Thursday. Thought you should know...
Goodness knows what you’re all feeling. Psyched that you’re about to smash your exams, thrilled that you're that much closer to the longest Summer break you’ll ever have or daunted about how much information you need to hold in and then pour out onto those last pages to mark the end of your high school chapter. Then there’s courses! What to do with your life? But what if you don’t hit the mark? My thoughts in Year 12 were all of the above.
I thought I’d share my experience as well as my brother's and a mate's because I think about you all often. I’ve gotten to see a lot of you face to face - some of whom I met at Media Talks in August, or at Open Days at Swinburne University, RMIT or The University of Melbourne. Then there’s the beauty of social media. We’re connected in one way or another so take a breather and read on...
If there was a single message you took out of reading this blog today I want to leave you all with this - make the most of every opportunity you have and do it with passion. A great way to approach your upcoming exams (think about kicking its glutes - metaphorically... I don't like violence). A great way to approach life.
My brother David and his long road to becoming a Doctor...
All my brother wanted to be ever since he was 5 years old was to be a doctor. My brother did his high school years at Mazenod College in Mulgrave. Medicine, like every year, required the top Year 12 rank. A rank, despite my brother’s intelligence and hard work, did not get. What my brother did end up doing however was a Science Degree at Monash University.
David completed Science and Honours and worked casual hours as a porter at the local hospital just so he could be around people who worked in the medical profession. Every year he applied to study Medicine at every single University in Australia. These applications at times required him to fly to certain cities in Oz for interviews (flights weren’t cheap back then) and others required him to sit other tests.
David then considered furthering his Science studies while he waited on the sidelines for his true calling. I remember the day that my brother was finally rewarded what he had wanted for so long. It was early in the morning, about 7am, Mum, David and I were still asleep and we got a call, Mum picked up, listened for a while, then woke up David and handed him the phone. While Dave was on the phone Mum peeped into my room and whispered, "It’s The University of Newcastle, David got in with a last round offer!" Someone had deferred their offer for Medicine that year and David was next on the list.
David is now a fully qualified orthopedic surgeon.
My friend Belinda...
Belinda and I went to same high school in Melbourne - Sacred Heart Girls’ College in Oakleigh. We didn’t really get to know each other until we found ourselves in our first year out of high school. both attending Melbourne University. Belinda wanted to study Optometry - an even more challenging degree to get into than Medicine - as there are so few spots offered in the state.
So similar to David, Belinda didn’t get into he degree of choice. She took on Science and tailored her study towards her love of eyes and sight, while she also worked as a supervisor at OPSM.
Belinda got to the end of her science degree and considered taking on an Honours year at Melbourne Uni. At the same time, Specsavers had arrived in Australia and were after people to run their own Specsavers business. With this opportunity, Belinda combined her passion with her natural knack of business and operations to run her own Specsavers stores. So instead of being an optometrist Belinda now hires them.
Then there’s me...
When I was in Year 12 Media and Communications was this “buzz” degree that teens really wanted to get into - so much so the demand was high. Based on the previous year’s demand Sydney University’s rank sat at 97.00 (Melbourne Uni, just below that) so 97.00 was my target all year.
When my score came I was happy but also shocked. From having a crappy history of grades especially in the early years of high school I managed to study my booty off and get an A+ in everything, except my Geography exam. I got an A. My rank? 96.85. Happy, (my year 12 co-ordinator said, “You’re top 3 per cent in the country - you should be proud”) but I didn't appreciate it at the time, I bawled my eyes out for a week not knowing if I’d end up studying Media. When in fact I did kick that jelly. And it was the beginning of an exciting time in my life.
Everything works out in the end
Clearly, you know everything worked out in the end. Shy of the Sydney Degree by .15 I completed a degree at Melbourne Uni and then RMIT. I also did a year of my Melbourne degree at Sydney Uni. In that time, much like David and Belinda I followed my passions. David was a porter at the hospital while studying, Belinda worked at OPSM while studying, I did work experience at TV Networks (researching, writing, time coding) all while studying.
The common theme? We made the most out of everything that we had at the time and made it work for us. Sure, it may not have panned out the way we exactly planned. But that’s life. And you know what, sometimes set backs in life are okay. It could just make you even hungrier to fulfill your goals. Even if I had't achieved the grades that I did I would still be working towards what I was after.
So take this time in your life in your stride. Your best, your full potential at this time is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. Congratulations for making it this far and I wish you all the very best. Go and kick some examination bootay.
And if you've got something to share or a question you want to ask. Please drop me a comment below!