The Higher School Certificate results (Year 12) are out today for students across NSW. And boy, does it bring back memories!
About 10 years ago, around May-June, I remember receiving my HSC results back in India. Even more anxiety-provoking than that were my School Certificate results (Year 10). I remember being pleasantly surprised with my Year 10 results and upset at my English marks (Yes, I cried!). I also remember being very unhappy with my HSC results and worrying whether I would get Psychology as one of my subject options for my B.A.
I still remember having to give my HSC exams. I threw up the morning of my Economics paper. I was anxious during my Maths and Psychology exams. I also remember the day I had Sociology and Maths on the same day…I don’t think I was able to feel my hands after that! [I was never good at giving exams! Anxiety tended to get to me] I would always work hard but somehow, with some papers, the nerves would win and I would blank out. I would forget what I had learnt.
To cut a long story short, I hated exams. I never understood the need to learn things by rote. And I would without fail let anxiety get the better of me [Hell, that even happened in my Third year B.A. exams!]
And now, I see clients going through similar issues.
The thing that no one…particularly teachers…tells you back when you are sitting for your HSC or SSC exams is this — there is more to life than these exams! And no one, no one asks you for your marks when you go for a job interview! And how you go in these exams doesn’t determine how you go at university! Instead, the mantra from teachers and parents appears to be that if you don’t do well, your life is finished. And you know what? Sadly, some youngsters take it to heart.
Why can’t parents and teachers just tell adolescents that they should work hard and leave it at that? Why the catastrophic threats? And especially in countries like Australia where there are so many options even if you don’t get a great HSC result!
But yet, I see time and again, young people constantly worried about their HSC. Thinking if they don’t do well it will be the end of the world. And having to explain to these sceptical youngsters that they do have options. That maybe, if they don’t get into Sydney Uni, does not mean they won’t get into any uni. That their severe anxiety is only going to hinder their final performance. That the HSC is not testing your true abilities but rather your ability to memorise and write quickly.
If only I had been told that.
I probably would not have wasted so many hours of my life throwing up and catastrophising.
How did you go with exams? Do you have any memorable moments to share?
Until next time,