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ATAR result panic? Chatswood student Megan shares her alternative pathway

Students around the country are receiving their ATAR and Year 12 results from this week. Some will be disappointed, others elated: we spoke with one inspiring student who didn't achieve their initial ATAR goal and went on to discover their true passion.

Students waiting for their results will have one question in mind: “Will I make or miss the mark?”

It’s an unfair expectation to have when there are so many alternate pathways and inumerable routes to ‘success’. There’s no doubt COVID-19 has causing a disruptive study year for school leavers, adding never-berfore-seen pressures, stress, and uncertainty with more competition for university enrollments. More students will be looking for alternative tertiary pathways next year than in many decades previous. 

Local Chatswood student, Megan Ting,  wasn’t sure what career she wanted to pursue and tried going different routes from design, beauty, to nursing before finally attending university after finding her passion for Forensics Science. 

Change can be overwhelming for a lot of people, but where there is change there is growth,  which was the case for Megan! While on holiday overseas, Megan found out that her ATAR missed the mark.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to pursue design, but after high school I was really burnt out and had no more ideas. I tried out a beauty course which lasted me 2 days. Then, I decided to do a nursing course but after a while, I wanted a bit more of a challenge.

Not falling for the social pressures to go to university straight after Year 12, Megan tried different avenues in the pursuit of finding her calling.

I started looking into the Diploma of Life Science. It’s relevant to my nursing course but every case was different, it’s challenging and I’m always on my feet. Then I thought to myself, I think this is it for me.

“Going from high school to university is a huge leap. I find it really helpful to have a hand to guide me into university and prepare you for the transition into university life.”

Megan is currently studying towards her Bachelor of Forensics Science at UTS after completing her Diploma of Life Science at UTS Insearch, a pathway provider to UTS.

Your ATAR doesn’t define you at all. There’s always other ways to get where you want to be.

Having prospered through the tertiary pathway journey and finding her passion, Megan shares her first-hand experience with School News to show others how important it is to explore your options, find the right transition from school to university, leverage your experiences and keep your eye on the prize despite the challenges life can throw at you.

Megan’s ‘ATAR journey’ began with art and design subjects:

“During high school I only chose design-based subjects as I wanted to get into a design degree. During Year 12 I started to really get serious about my study, I would often go to the local library to cram study. At that time, getting a good ATAR and getting into your university of choice was everything. There’s this perception of “I did not achieve that goal then I would fail in life”.

Once I finished my HSC I felt really burnt out and was lost on what I wanted to do, so I decided to take a gap year and tried to figure out my next step.

Learning study skills have helped her enter a field she had very few pre-requisite subjects in:

” I only did one science-related subject which was biology, so throughout my diploma degree, I struggled a lot on subjects like physics and chemistry. Luckily, the teaching staff at college were very supportive. They would set up a time to sit down to help me understand the concepts and break down the information in different ways to help me understand.

“I learnt a lot of study techniques from different teachers and even friends that I met during my diploma. Some of the study tips I picked up I’m still using as it is really helpful for myself such as using colourful sticky notes and pens where each colour represents a different subject or the level of importance.

“I also learnt to write out my notes instead of typing them out. Writing forces you to really think and focus on what you are writing, my mind tends to wander off when I’m typing.”

What she did after receiving a disappointing score?

“As nursing was my backup I decided to go to TAFE and do a certificate in health to see whether I like it and if it was something I would like to do as a job in the future. After finishing my Certificate in Health, I decided to go into Nursing and started to look for alternative pathways to get myself into university. As I was searching online I came across UTS College.

“I chose to study Diploma of Life Science as I thought it would help me get into the nursing degree, even though they are different streams I thought that Nursing would have some similar subjects with science.

“As I was completing my diploma I started doing some research on what kind of science-based degrees UTS offers and I came across Forensic Science which caught my interest, as I like to read books based on psychological thriller/ thriller crime. As Nursing was my first choice I went to UTS studying nursing but coming near to my degree I started to lose interest in that field of work. I went back to UAC and applied for a Bachelor of Forensic Science majoring in Crime scene investigation, which is what I am currently studying right now.

Her advice for students entering ATAR programs next year:

“Finding your passion is a more important key to success than any exam result. Don’t give up, your ATAR doesn’t define who you are. There are other pathways into university, so don’t give up hope and fight for what you want to do.

“My advice to students that are at home waiting for their ATAR results would be not to feel stressed. You have done your best and if you do not get the ATAR you were hoping to get, it’s not the end of the world.

“There are many alternative pathways to help you achieve your goal. Along the way you will learn a lot about yourself and meet a lot of people that could help guide and give you different perspective on situations.

“I would tell my younger self that as long as you did your best during HSC and even though you did not achieve the ATAR you needed to get into your degree, that it’s okay. There are other ways to achieve your goal. Throughout my journey, I learned a lot and grew as a person. If things were different and I did not take this route I think I would still be the shy person who is afraid of public speaking and not the confident person that I am now.

 

School News

School News is not affiliated with any government agency, body or political party. We are an independently owned, family-operated magazine.

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