Student reflections: HSC / ATAR results

Hannah Morriss on campus at CSU in Wagga Wagga

With the release of HSC results and ATARs at the end of 2015 we touched base with CSU Nursing student Hannah Morriss to reflect on her school days; what it was like waiting for the results, coping with the big week and what she knows now that she wished she’d known back then.

The 2015 HSC and ATAR results have been released; looking back on your Year 12 days, what was that experience like?

Before the release of our HSC results I was lucky enough to reach some major milestones in my life, finally turning 18 and successfully securing my first full time job. Both of these contributed to feeling a sense of calmness in the lead up to the release of my results. I was also one of the lucky ones, knowing that no matter what my results were, I had already been accepted into my first preference at CSU.

When I first saw my results I felt a whirlwind of emotions, firstly there was relief. Relief that it was over and I had actually made it. I then felt a sense of guilt, knowing I could have tried harder and not watched all of the seasons of gossip girl in the weeks before the HSC, using the excuse that it was a study break. Finally, I felt proud, I had achieved something that not all people get the opportunity to do and I had gotten where I wanted to be, into university.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known then?

I wish I had known that unlike all through Year 12, when you come to university or basically do anything else in your life you really never talk about your ATAR again. Expanding on that, your ATAR doesn’t define you, you’re not just a number.

I thought that if I didn’t get the ATAR I needed to get into nursing that was it, I would never be a nurse and I would never go to uni. I now know how wrong I was. There are so many ways to get into university and yes while that one number is important it doesn’t define you and your future.

What advice would you give to school leavers getting their results?

Be proud of what you have achieved. Explore your options, just because you got an ATAR of 99 doesn’t mean you have to be a doctor or a vet – do what you enjoy. There is no point in doing something that you are not passionate about.

The same goes for people that didn’t quite get the results they were hoping for, talk to the universities about what you can do, bridging courses, TAFE, start another degree and transfer, don’t let one number stop you from achieving what you want.

What happens next when you receive your results?

For me I was with my group of friends when we looked at our results, we all agreed that we didn’t have to tell each other what we got if we didn’t feel comfortable. Thankfully all of us were pleased with our results. After we all congratulated each other it was time to call our mum and dad’s. Then came the text messages from class mates asking how you went and then the Facebook statuses of people that were pleased with their results. It was not until all of this, we all realised that the HSC was over and so was our school life.

Any advice for telling family and friends how you went – or avoiding answering nosy people?

I personally didn’t tell many people my exact result and not many people really asked me, except my mum and dad and my close friends. I did however say “I’m really pleased with my results” thousands of times.

Everyone will be different with who they tell and how much they tell people. It just depends how comfortable you are. My advice would be use general answers like “yeah I did well”, “I’m happy with how I went” or “I’m glad it’s over”; nobody needs to know your exact mark if you don’t want to tell them.