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Thread: To all those who went to selective high schools

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    To all those who went to selective high schools

    Hi, i was wondering, just out of curosity, what is it actually like to go to a selective high school? Is the culture really as competitive as everyone says? Share your experiences

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Hello there,
    I can't speak for all selective high schools because they will vary a lot depending on the one you go to. But to speak very generally and broadly, the environment will probably be much more competitive compared to a regular comprehensive.

    Depending on the student, there will be some degree of academic pressure to perform well from parental/family and school expectations. The student culture can also contribute to this as well, particularly if you have basically most of your peers going to private tutoring.

    As for my experience, personally I found school most pressuring/competitive during Year 11 when everyone is fresh and new to senior school and goes all out to try and get ahead of others (though that's not to say Year 12 was not competitive either to some extent). By the time it came to my Year 12 halfyearlies though, I felt less pressured to sort of throw everything into my studies and I no longer saw grades as a "be all end all" sort of thing. They really are not, and you've probably heard a heap of times the saying that the HSC/ATAR isn't everything, and does not define who you are (it sounds a bit lame to say, but no less true).

    I did of course take my studies seriously, and worked hard to prepare for the HSC, but for me it didn't feel as overwhelming or competitive because I chose not to constantly compare myself with others - that is, the HSC was about me reaching my own potential and doing the best I can do - not trying to meet some crazy high numerical outcome.

    Anyway to wrap it up, yes a selective school will probably be much more competitive, but in the end it's what you choose to make of your schooling.
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by studygirl118 View Post
    Hi, i was wondering, just out of curosity, what is it actually like to go to a selective high school? Is the culture really as competitive as everyone says? Share your experiences
    Very competitive (from my perspective at least). Competitive to the point where there would often be 'battles' between classes for a single subject and furthermore between the individuals within those classes. Ranks were the only thing everyone cared about (including me lol). We called it the 'Great Rank War of 17' *shivers*

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    i'm heading into year 11 this year and i go to a pretty good selective school (we dropped ranks though LOL)
    selective is a great environment and personally it's really motivating for me when i see everyone else trying hard so it forces me to study hard too. yeah like others said selective is very pressuring + competitive, especially if your parents have high expectations of you. but it's a pretty chill environment tbh (esp. from year 7-10 because rarely anyone tries hard) to meet like-minded people ^_^

    also because some people are so competitive, they might not help you properly if you ask them to ...but that's a very small minority (i think!)

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Although our school ranks well it is surprisingly really chill (well for prelims and the first bit of yr 12). It might be because we don't get ranked from year 7 like other selective schools and during prelims ranks weren't such a huge deal because teachers wouldn't share them publicly. But it could also be our cohort because we're super slack, like during our prelim yearlies there were people who slept during their exams, and all the 'big' teachers at our school are concerned about us because aren't taking things seriously. But I reckon it will get slightly more competitive further into yr 12, and hopefully we get our shit together and not bring our rank down lmao
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenueAMusA View Post
    also because some people are so competitive, they might not help you properly if you ask them to ...but that's a very small minority (i think!)
    There's always a bunch of people who do that. Imo its their loss as well because teaching someone who is struggling with a concept will also help yourself in remembering and understanding it more clearly.
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Coming from a top 5 selective school i have to say that the environment differs depending on how you are. Someone joined in year 11 but ended up leaving because the environment was too competitive for her. Some people really embrace the competition and it motivates them to aim higher.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    People were always scabbing half marks (just so it would round up), so to some degree it was competitive. Most people are competitive really only Year 11 and Year 12.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Besides “prestige”, not that great. If you came from a school other than the primary those kids went to, then you will find it very hard to fit in, at least in my experience. For example, I went to a Christian primary school and got into selective without tutoring, unlike the rest of them. Also they didn’t warm up to me until a year later. I find the competitiveness annoying, because it is really as a team that everyone’s marks will lift up. I’m now back at a private school, and it is much better, I like the nicer atmosphere and find that I work better in it. Even though I used to be very top in English, History and Music back at the selective school, there are many people on the same level on me in my current school, and I find that very encouraging instead of seeing it as some cut-throat Hunger Games exploit.

    Go for the ranks, go for the prestige if you want. But I’m confident in my own abilities no matter how “high-ranking” of a school I attend.


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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    By the way, in terms of competitiveness, I have a story of a girl who went to find a history tutor just because she wanted to “beat me” in a history exam. There was a lot involved. I wouldn’t say ~bullying~, but tbh would rather have done without the experience. She was basically my first stalker who was obsessed with me in a very negative way


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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    ^ Keep in mind that was in Year 9, nowhere near Year 11&12


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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Shit, it's filled with a bunch of unsocial cunts.
    Atar results: no one gives a fuck, cunt.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    You meet people who get angry at you when you get a higher mark than them (they're usually the ones getting hella high marks) and then try to 'bully' you but obviously they're too physically weak to do sh*t so they will try to verbally bully you using the Oxford dictionary they have in their head -.-
    When a teacher asks a question and you answer, there's a lot of pressure because if you say something incorrect you get like 29 smirks from the whole class, and if you say the correct answer then you'll get called a show off or something
    They will legit argue with teachers in order to get like 0.5 extra mark for their incorrect exam answer
    Priority: tutor homework > school homework

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Damn what schools do you all go to? Mine's so chill for a selective
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by the_matrix View Post
    You meet people who get angry at you when you get a higher mark than them (they're usually the ones getting hella high marks) and then try to 'bully' you but obviously they're too physically weak to do sh*t so they will try to verbally bully you using the Oxford dictionary they have in their head -.-
    When a teacher asks a question and you answer, there's a lot of pressure because if you say something incorrect you get like 29 smirks from the whole class, and if you say the correct answer then you'll get called a show off or something
    They will legit argue with teachers in order to get like 0.5 extra mark for their incorrect exam answer
    Priority: tutor homework > school homework
    Oh wow, I've had very similar experiences at my selective school.
    I beat this girl by 1 mark in an exam last year but she's been salty about it until now. She even brought it up last week! I don't understand why there's the need to be competitive when you can work on improving yourself instead.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by kendallkreene View Post
    By the way, in terms of competitiveness, I have a story of a girl who went to find a history tutor just because she wanted to “beat me” in a history exam. There was a lot involved. I wouldn’t say ~bullying~, but tbh would rather have done without the experience. She was basically my first stalker who was obsessed with me in a very negative way


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    Seriously, a history tutor in Year 9? I can understand getting a tutor for math, English, science, etc, but really HISTORY? All for the sake of one-upping you? Wow...

    You must've been really smart/amazing. Otherwise she wouldn't have targeted you like that.
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    To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by brbstudying View Post
    Seriously, a history tutor in Year 9? I can understand getting a tutor for math, English, science, etc, but really HISTORY? All for the sake of one-upping you? Wow...

    You must've been really smart/amazing. Otherwise she wouldn't have targeted you like that.
    Haha, thank you! Yeah, it was a very weird and uncomfortable period of my life... like I’m just quietly going about my own work, not bothering anybody, and some girl just decides to start a vendetta against me because I rank 1st? In the end, she didn’t even end up surpassing me, so much for the $$ gone into her hiring a “history tutor” HAHAHAHAH. It also brings me to my next point that most selective schools gain that prestige because their parents pay inordinate amounts of money to send them to tutoring. At my new school, there’s plenty of naturally smart people who do substantially better than the people at the selective school I went to, and they’ve never even heard of the concept of tutoring outside school.

    I live in the South-West suburbs (LOL think that says enough), lmao, so I don’t know if this experience is relative to that, or are selective school kids from the Northern areas more mature and decent than this?

    Either way, if I ever have kids, I’m sending them to a private/Christian/Anglican school from K-12, not even gonna bother making them try out for selective because I don’t want them growing up as envious insecure weirdos.
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by kendallkreene View Post
    Haha, thank you! Yeah, it was a very weird and uncomfortable period of my life... like I’m just quietly going about my own work, not bothering anybody, and some girl just decides to start a vendetta against me because I rank 1st? In the end, she didn’t even end up surpassing me, so much for the $$ gone into her hiring a “history tutor” HAHAHAHAH. It also brings me to my next point that most selective schools gain that prestige because their parents pay inordinate amounts of money to send them to tutoring. At my new school, there’s plenty of naturally smart people who do substantially better than the people at the selective school I went to, and they’ve never even heard of the concept of tutoring outside school.

    I live in the South-West suburbs (LOL think that says enough), lmao, so I don’t know if this experience is relative to that, or are selective school kids from the Northern areas more mature and decent than this?

    Either way, if I ever have kids, I’m sending them to a private/Christian/Anglican school from K-12, not even gonna bother making them try out for selective because I don’t want them growing up as envious insecure weirdos.
    thankfully not everyone there is strange and weird. the guy who ended up dux at my year at a selective school didn't require tutoring.

    there is a culture (not to be racist), but especially amongst the selective Asians, of not just reaching the A level but competitiveness. At my school though most people only really gave a deal once Year 11 came around.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Yeah, I don’t think ALL selective people are like that. I was probably just unlucky, or the universe was showing me how not to act. Maybe I’m too much of a white girl, but I found the overly-competitive and jealous nature of some of my former classmates really, really unattractive. Moreover, the people who embodied such characteristics weren’t even the “top” students. The real “top” students (who were the only friends I had at that school tbh), however, were the nicest and least competitive, so it’s funny how that works.

    I also don’t have that much respect for people (the “selective” Asian culture) who hold those kind of values TBH. Competitiveness with others, if not healthy, fuels jealously, and jealously results in one’s downfall. That’s why a lot of successful people preach “competing with yourself” instead of others, and admire and become inspired by those who are successful instead of trying to one-up them or “bring them down” just because you secretly hate yourself and have some deep-seated insecurity that can’t be mended, even through years of therapy and counselling. ALSO, you’re competing against the STATE, so how is it in anyway productive to narrow your comparison down to the what, 20-30 people in your class?

    Healthy competition is good though, when you want the best for both yourself and others around you. I believe that is not only the formula to becoming successful, but also just being a decent human being in general, and most likely attributes as to why I couldn’t stand the thought of completing my education at my former, oh-so-prestigious “selective” school.

    So as you can see by my long-winded rants, I obviously did not enjoy my experience at selective. And the guys there didn’t help either. Like, usually having a crush alleviates the torture of going to school, but I didn’t find any of them attractive at all. :/
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by studygirl118 View Post
    Hi, i was wondering, just out of curosity, what is it actually like to go to a selective high school? Is the culture really as competitive as everyone says? Share your experiences
    I went to a semi-selective school so I've seen the best/worst of both worlds. Yes, there is a culture of competition in the selective schools but that also means most people actually want to learn.

    I hated being in classes where half the time the teacher had to control the behaviour of kids who simply did not care (esp in Year 12). In contrast, I felt more motivated and academically stimulated in classes where there was actual engagement with the teacher on the subject content. The whole "whatever it takes" super-competitiveness is really a very small minority, which is far outweighed by the benefits of a more engaging classroom environment. Most of the time the competition is 'friendly' and 'healthy' in the sense that working hard is the norm not the outlier.

    Basically, if you like to work hard and be academically stimulated then you will like the environment of selective schools, otherwise don't bother.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by dan964 View Post
    thankfully not everyone there is strange and weird. the guy who ended up dux at my year at a selective school didn't require tutoring.

    there is a culture (not to be racist), but especially amongst the selective Asians, of not just reaching the A level but competitiveness. At my school though most people only really gave a deal once Year 11 came around.
    Second this post, 7-10 was extremely chill and people only started caring around yr11-12!
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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    Quote Originally Posted by kendallkreene View Post
    Yeah, I don’t think ALL selective people are like that. I was probably just unlucky, or the universe was showing me how not to act. Maybe I’m too much of a white girl, but I found the overly-competitive and jealous nature of some of my former classmates really, really unattractive. Moreover, the people who embodied such characteristics weren’t even the “top” students. The real “top” students (who were the only friends I had at that school tbh), however, were the nicest and least competitive, so it’s funny how that works.

    I also don’t have that much respect for people (the “selective” Asian culture) who hold those kind of values TBH. Competitiveness with others, if not healthy, fuels jealously, and jealously results in one’s downfall. That’s why a lot of successful people preach “competing with yourself” instead of others, and admire and become inspired by those who are successful instead of trying to one-up them or “bring them down” just because you secretly hate yourself and have some deep-seated insecurity that can’t be mended, even through years of therapy and counselling. ALSO, you’re competing against the STATE, so how is it in anyway productive to narrow your comparison down to the what, 20-30 people in your class?

    Healthy competition is good though, when you want the best for both yourself and others around you. I believe that is not only the formula to becoming successful, but also just being a decent human being in general, and most likely attributes as to why I couldn’t stand the thought of completing my education at my former, oh-so-prestigious “selective” school.

    So as you can see by my long-winded rants, I obviously did not enjoy my experience at selective. And the guys there didn’t help either. Like, usually having a crush alleviates the torture of going to school, but I didn’t find any of them attractive at all. :/
    I think it is more a comment on human nature, its human nature a little, to be jealous of those who are better or more skilled. Competition is something like the survival of the fittest, ironically, the self-absorbed seem to be the ones who want to push others rather than pull others up alongside them.

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    Re: To all those who went to selective high schools

    It all really depends. I started year 11 this year at a selective mixed high school from a single-sex private school, and the first lesson someone came up to me and showed me around. Ever since then my social circle expanded rapidly. I got their snapchats from the first day, and felt like I was there since year 7. I was even invited to 2 parties and got roses on valentines day despite being there for only 3 days . Be hard working and stay humble, and you won't feel any competition at all.

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