Monday, 17 December 2012

No One Cares

In Australia; at the end of year 12, each student is given a rank from one to one hundred that tells the student how well they did. If a student gets eighty for example, it means that they did better than eighty percent of the state.

The rank essentially tells universities and colleges who to choose for particular courses. Almost every tertiary course has an ATAR cutoff. The hardest and most prestigious courses, such as physio therapy and medicine, have cutoffs around 95. So that only the best 5% of students in the state can do that course.

The results will be published at 7am today. Forty-seven thousand students who have finished school forever have set their alarms so that they can find out what they're ranked.

The results can be texted to each student, read online, or in the newspaper. And people seem to have a disturbing obsession with their rank.

Of course, if it is not high enough, one may not be able to do the course they wanted to do, and will be forced to take their second or third or even fourth preference. But people lose sleep over the matter, they get so worked up it can't be healthy.

In fact, if your rank is lower than twenty; you have to make an enquiry about what it was. They will only tell you it was "less than twenty" until you specifically ask. The reason is that some time ago; someone killed themselves when they were told they had an ATAR of 6.

But it's stupid to think that your rank is that important. How well you did during one year at school does not define you, especially not considering that at least a quarter of the rank is determined by a handful of two or three hour tests. 

Once you are in a course; no one cares. Once you have your degree; no one cares. When you have a job, a house, a family, a business, a farm, a multi-million dollar corporation... no one cares.
When you are old and dying, you will think back on your life, your experiences, your friends and family. You will not think about your ATAR.

And in all honesty; who cares if you didn't get into the course you wanted? Your life at university or college will affect the rest of your life in such a tiny way it is absurd to get stressed over it.

Besides, the rank really only applies straight out of school, by the time you've been out of school for a few years; it's so frivolous that you may as well take it off your CV.

To anyone reading this who has just come out of school. Don't let your ATAR affect you or your Christmas. Not only is it insignificant, but pointless. It might effect your decisions for the next few years, but don't cry over it, don't lose sleep over it, and don't let it stand in between you and your dreams.

Because I don't care about mine, and I don't care about yours. No one cares.

1 comment:

  1. It is important in my family because in my home country, education is a privilege and not a right. Some people don't get to finish school or go to university because they don't have the money to pay for it. Many people don't get into college because the government discriminates against them because of race and gender. If you don't get a degree, you earn very little. People live the way we saw them living in the third world. That's why a lot of Asian people come to Australia and study hard to get into courses like medicine and physio. Because here, you get into courses based on merit and how hard you worked in high school - and not on your race or gender or finances.

    Your ATAR doesn't define you but it can demonstrate how hard you work. I have to remind myself that Colossians 3:23 tells us that in whatever we do, we should work at it with all our heart. We should always try to give our best whether we like it or not because that speaks multitudes about our character and that is what God cares about deeply.

    I hope everyone got the results that they hoped for, but no matter what, your future is bright and exciting in Christ.