Supporting your child through ATAR disappointment | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Supporting your child through ATAR disappointment

13 Dec 2021

Adjusting after Year 12

Year 12 was a stressful year, in particular those few weeks leading up to graduation. Saying goodbye to basically everything I had known for years was a huge adjustment. My daily routine and identity as a student changed in an instant and then the daunting task of choosing a career was upon me.

ATAR disappointment

When my ATAR was released, I was pretty devastated that it wasn’t going to get me into what I initially wanted to study. I thought more about myself and what passions and values I held, and this process led me to the area of psychology and my new hopes to become a Psychology Officer in the army. I decided to take the risk and pursue my newfound curiosity, so I changed my preferences to the Bachelor of Psychology (honours) at the brand-new USC Moreton Bay campus and I couldn’t be happier!

Changing preferences

After being through this experience, my advice to other Year 12s is to encourage them to take a deep breath and remember that they don’t have to have it all planned out when they graduate high school. QTAC preferences aren’t set in stone and there is flexibility to change them after results are released.

Despite initially being disappointed about not getting into my first preference, I didn’t let it deter me from achieving my goal of going to university. After doing some soul-searching, I’m now studying my dream degree and feel incredibly lucky to be taught by amazing lecturers at a university that I’m proud to be apart of.

My advice

My best advice to parents who are supporting their child during this process is to:

  • Attend events like USC's Options Information session to get advice for changing preferences.
  • Remind them that if they didn’t get the ATAR they were hoping for, or they’ve had a change of heart, they can always change their preferences to get into their chosen degree.
  • Encourage them to follow things that they are curious and passionate about.
  • Have more than one possible pathway in their preferences.
  • Not be afraid to take risks! There is always the option of changing degrees if it isn’t what they were hoping for.
  • Let them know that they are supported and encourage their growth and self-reflection.

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