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Feeling upset about results post hsc

Community Member

I’ve been crying nearly everyday about my atar since I got it. It’s not a bad atar and I got into the course I wanted but i still feel incomplete and so angry that it wasn’t what I wanted. I feel upset cause I knew I deserved it and at the same time I feel angry at myself for not studying enough. But the truth is I did study, I studied a lot I just lost a lot of my motivation and found it rlly hard to focus and was just so tired all of the time. And since I fell back in maths I couldn’t cope with the new topics that would build on the old ones. I would zone out in tutoring and class and would feel really stressed in tutoring because I thought I couldn’t understand. Recently I’ve been feeling really upset about this number. It wasn’t an atar above 90 but it was rlly close. And that’s what bloody stings. I’m trying to stay positive saying I’ll do better in uni but I’m finding it rlly hard too. If I do well in uni will it really matter that much? Everyone makes such a big deal about atar and everyone respects u if u get a good atar . But when u go to uni if u do well no one rlly cares apart from your employers. No one asks. So is it worth it?

4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear lisa_21…


A very warm and caring welcome to the forums,


Congratulations for getting in to the course you wanted to….you should be so proud of yourself sweetheart…you achieved what you wanted to achieve, I find that awesome…...at the time, you done your best, and honestly that is all you can do…..so please, try not to be so hard on yourself…..I don’t know anything about atar scores, so can’t really be much help their….


You got into the course you have chosen….does your atar score count?….I don’t know, but I do know that your course exams and results are worth more then the score that got you into it….and I think any future employers will be more interested in your outcome of your chosen course….


Thinking of you with kindness and care Dear lisa_21


Community Member

Hi Lisa_21

First off congratulations on acceptance into your desired course. I can hear your immense disappointment in your atar result however hope that you can recognise the hard work and dedication you put in to get to where you are! 
While I graduated over 6 years ago on the OP system there may be some insights I may be able to provide.


I feel your post highlights the high pressure that schools, families and society as a whole puts on academic results and equating that to success and a persons worth, ability and value. Your atar result does not and will not ever define you and what you have to offer the world and future employers.


I can not speak to your specific situation and how irrelevant school results will be for your desired career. What I can say is that I have never had someone in a job interview/application ask about my school results nor heard of anyone else be questioned on this when applying to jobs. The extent is some employers may want a report card to verify you completed year 12 and took English and Math. Even if an employer did ask for your atar result it sounds like your result is not one to be ashamed of by any means. I would argue that any result where you know you did your best is a result to be proud of (although you say you felt you could have done more it sounds like you did your best at the time, things led you to fall behind and you did your best with what you were experiencing). From everything I was ever told and from others experiences, your school results are to get you into university and that’s it.. and yours have done this. Once you complete higher education study even just after 1 year or  semester this can get converted to a university rank so even if you didn’t get into your first choice there would be many other entry pathways.


Now onto the topic of disapointment…. your feelings are valid and right now it is fresh so it is going to feel at its worst now, know that with time this will fade. By October of year 12 I was already accepted into my dream course and it didn’t matter what score I got and I wasn’t expecting a very high result. Despite this once I received my result I still felt disappointed in myself, ashamed and embarrassed (it was equivalent to below an atar of 75). It was around people my age that was the hardest hearing everyone sharing there results that were better than mine. For a while I had a level of anxiety specific to being asked my results, knowing when I was going to be around certain people who would be likely to ask. It can be a common question asked to people who recently graduated but it is normally simply out of curiosity not that it actually matters.


I don’t know if this helped in anyway, I hope that you may find some comfort in knowing you’re not alone in these feelings and it will likely get better with time.

Wishing you all the best with your university course!

Hi Jasmine rose thanks for your reply, it’s really appreciated. I think that my feelings are more about feeling embarrassed in my community. I get that my atar won’t be asked when I go for employment and that it won’t rlly matter for my career. It’s just I sort of feel that this was my one opportunity to sort of achieve something that I’ll be proud of and that people would sort of appreciate me for as there is a big deal made around atar (like I’ve not heard someone receive the same appreciation for other achievements like in uni or career something). I guess I feel unmotivated for uni because I feel that even if I do well in uni it won’t matter and my achievements in uni won’t get the same appreciation or that none in society will care that much nor will it compare to getting atar above 90 l. I don’t know if that makes sense but I guess that’s kinda my line of thinking. 💗

Apologies for my delayed response candy_21, I am unsure based off my experiences if anything will be relevant to you however in the off chance anything may assist I still thought I would reply. For years you have probably been working towards this, expecting, hoping and looking forward to getting a result in a specific range and now it’s less than you had hoped for. Your feelings are completely valid this was important to you and it did not turn out how you wanted, most feelings reduce with time and this will likely also as right now it is still new.


In schools and communities a lot of focus is placed on year 12 results because that is really all there is to strive for while in school. It is made out to be the be all and end all of what the future holds and how people view you. However, long term it is not. In year 12 we had teachers and guest speakers tell us that our school results would not matter once we start uni or working. I remember being confused and not believing it at first wondering how something that had been our main focus for years and everyone seemed to place so much importance on, how could it become irrelevant so quickly. However even a year out of school I could see this. By being in environments that have such a strong focus on atar results it may make it feel like they hold more value than they do.


Personally I have always had the impression that what someone does after school holds more meaning than school results. Everything after school is a different environment, for many reasons sometimes people who excelled in school will not after and often people who did not do great in school will succeed after. Most people understand that school results do not hold that much weight in terms of demonstrating someone’s academic ability, intelligence or achievements because there are so many factors that can influence this. Yes high school results can be something to be proud of and someone who gets a 95+ will always be able to say this and have people congratulate them on there high school intelligence for decades, however in 10+ years I doubt many who received a high grade 12 result would classify that as there proudest achievement. I know of multiple people who received top results in year 12 and this looses significance as the years go by.



I may be wrong but it sounds like perhaps you have been around a lot of people who are maybe high achievers and people who praise high results and view results as a demonstration of a persons worth and ability. I can certainly relate to this, as a result I developed a reduced care for grades and peoples opinion on my academic results from a young age. I had a very academic family and went to a high performing high school. If I got a B it wasn’t as good as the As many around me were getting, if I got an A it was the normal/ expectation. Looking for peoples approval, praise and making people proud through grades quickly became exhausting. By high school as long as I passed I was content, it’s not that I stopped trying I just started caring less about the grade on the paper and what others reactions to the result were. By the time I got my first A+ it had little meaning to me. There are so many things more important to me than academic results. The reason I share this is because there have been times where I have shared a result looking for approval from someone however this was rarely beneficial, I have found things so much better in many ways when I have cared less about the results and others opinion on this. This may not be something that would feel helpful for you, while I have found this helpful to reduce feelings related to academic results this may not work for everyone.


Wishing you all the best candy_21.