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Thread: ATAR Goal Evaporated?

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    ATAR Goal Evaporated?

    These last 6 weeks or so have been a bit iffy for me in terms of how I feel about the HSC and I want to sort this out before we get too close to trials.

    My ATAR goal since Year 11 has been 99.9 just because it qualifies me for academic scholarships and also it is very high thus even if I don't get the ATAR, I will (theoretically) have an ATAR that is still really good. But I'm really starting to debate the importance of this, because 99.9 is extremely difficult and the benefits aren't that important for me (other than being rural and having to move away, my family is still economically able and I will be able to repay uni debts without too much hassle). If my ATAR goal was lowered, I could still do well and get into a course I want.

    I'm starting to realise that the fields I want to work in most (urban planning) don't require uni courses that are in really high demand (job prospects are actually pretty good therefore), so a 99 ATAR world really be pointless from a practical point of view. This is because the three urban planning courses I have looked at need ATARs of 85, 83, and 70. And I understand many people aim for 99+ ATARs but those are mostly people that actually need a 99 for things like medicine, law, etc (aka not what I have too much interest in).

    But here's the thing. I'm really wrapped up in this idea of prestige and looking good from the perspective of others in terms of academics. This means that I really wanna be top of the class in most subjects for a sense of pride and admiration (which is really bad but its also what has kept up my motivation). That's why I'm scared of lowering my ATAR goal, because I don't want to look dumb and that I'm not really worth much (again really bad but thats how it is for me). Ironically enough, I'm studying a lot less now because I'm so confused about what I really want to achieve.

    I've tried lowering the ATAR goal to 99.00 (but its still unnecessarily high and only serves to inflate my ego), then I lowered it to 96.40 (a bit above my older brother's ATAR, but why should I care about doing better than him if literally no one else would care), and now I don't really know what's good for me anymore in terms of a goal.

    This issue has basically come about because (weirdly enough) I finally discovered that people in Year 12 don't just study, but they hang out with friends and travel and do a bunch of different things which, for me, are activities that are infinitely more fulfilling than studying and waiting for good results (because being around others helps create good memories and new experiences). Basically since I have started to do a bunch of different things with friends, the ATAR has become a lots less important, because the happiness of being with friends for me is a lot more powerful than that of getting good school results.

    With that being said, I still want to look good and the ATAR for me is still a symbol of hard work (which would be very fulfilling if I could get a 99+ ATAR) but if it comes at curtailing my life experiences, then I don't care about a 99 anymore, just because the happiness that a 99+ would give me wouldn't last very long, and also its not super practical if all i need is a high 80's ATAR.

    This is mainly to express my feelings about the HSC but I still have questions. Should I lower my ATAR goal even if it means giving up personal pride? Or should I keep my options open and strive for a 99 just in case I end up wanting a uni course with a high ATAR requirement? Is it bad for me to value friendships and relationships way more than the HSC?
    Last edited by notthedevil; 16 Apr 2018 at 9:09 PM.
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    Senior Member sida1049's Avatar
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    Re: ATAR Goal Evaporated?

    I think you should get rid of an ATAR goal all together. It's awfully arbitrary, and for a lot of people it can make or break egos, and both of which are kind of bad.

    Instead, you should focus on performing as well as you can. That way, you don't have a fixed (yet arbitrary) goal, and it's a testament to your personal drive and willingness to do your best in the things you're committed to. And this isn't in any way incongruous with enjoying your HSC year; doing well and enjoying your time aren't mutually exclusive.

    Best of luck!
    notthedevil likes this.

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    Re: ATAR Goal Evaporated?

    Hey notthedevil,

    Ambition is a great trait to have, but it is also important to ask yourself why you so desperately want to obtain that 99.9 atar (which you have). Is it worth it? 99.9 is extremely difficult to obtain, and since your needed atar is nowhere even near the ballpark of 99.9, perhaps risking your mental + physical health isn't worth it. By all means, work hard but also take care of yourself and be realistic.

    Purely speculating, if you keep fervently aiming for the 99.9, and you don't achieve it, how would you react? As terrible as it sounds, keeping your expectations low is oft given advice for a reason. Bear in mind, i have no idea what your academic + personal situation in like.

    Concerning your questions, would your personal pride be extremely damaged if you lowered your atar to 95 or 90? I think you should reflect on your personal values and ask yourself why this is so important to you. Again, speculating, but i sense that your quite competitive and that sibling rivalry has played a part in your desire for 99.9. sense so few degrees require atar's over 99, it doesn't seem necessary? You can get into most degrees with 95. It is definitely not a bad thing that you value friendships over HSC.

    Anyway, good luck
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    Member Frostguard's Avatar
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    Re: ATAR Goal Evaporated?

    Hey buddy!!!
    Personally I just realised that I don't even have an ATAR goal and I'm sure as heck not going to make one now, I realised that the only thing that matters is getting a good mark, whether it be of your own standards or comparing yourself to other students in your cohort, it doesn't necessarily restrict to me just a goal, I have multiple goals and so should you. Like Sida said, ATAR goals are not necessarily vital as motivations to a good mark, and it's better to just work hard and get good marks!!! Limiting yourself to just a goal means that you are purely focused on just this number and that every assessment you will begin to process how much you have succeeded or ruined your ATAR which is most certainly not a healthy or good psychological mindset. Happiness and satisfaction, for me, comes from studying the best I can and reciprocating that onto my exams and assessments. Yes you can use ATAR calculators but regularly doing these will detriment your education because it make sure you unnecessarily stress about which subjects you need to do better on and we all know what stress does to you - procrastination and decrease in one's self worth and esteem.

    As Lila said, is pride really that important to you, will it ruin your life if you do not achieve a particular goal?? If it does, then maybe reflect upon yourself a little, like yeah it's good to have a little bit of pride and ambition but if it becomes unhealthy, greed and arrogance will result and those two traits are not what you want to desire a student in their final year of high school. Approach the HSC with relative ambition, but not too unrealistic where you think your life depends on a high ATAR, and similarly don't aim too low because you obviously need to recognise your strengths (I remember your atar estimate post you're goals af lmao you hella smart), even if you're doing urban planning which means a lower ATAR, it doesn't mean you lower your expectations and academic performance, keep at it as you're going now, and your pride will be maintained (sounds kinda greedy but everybody had a little bit of pride in them and we obviously want it to be nurtured and increased but let's not tell others that lol). Do well in your assessments and people, whether it be teachers, peers, siblings, parents, friends or family will surely view you with a proud perspective that you're an intelligent person with just a different outlook on life. Good Luck devil (although I lowkey still hope you're doing Psychology LOL)
    notthedevil likes this.
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