Letter to the editor | Year 12 is not the be-all-end-all

Bob Hammill, Sale

FOR Year 12 students, this is the home run.
It’s a stressful time for students and parents as we foster the belief that if students don’t do well, they’re doomed.
For those who are feeling stressed, or not doing so well, let me offer some advice by outlining some of my experiences.
In Years 11 and 12, I wasn’t what you’d call the sharpest knife in the drawer.
I failed Year 11, repeated, and after two years, just passed enough subjects to go onto Year 12.
I failed that as well.
On top of all that, I had more pimples than 99 per cent of the kids in Sale High School.
At times it was tough, but after more than 50 years I look back and think both those experiences actually had a very positive impact on my life.
Early in life it taught me to deal with setbacks — and the pimples made sure I developed my personality as best I could.
During my life I had plenty of good jobs I thoroughly enjoyed.
With no real fear of failure, I applied for and gained those jobs while others more qualified held back, worried about their image if they weren’t successful.
I also saw many who breezed through university and marriage, but coped very poorly when they experienced their first real setback in their 30s.
It was much the same with pimples.
Many of the ‘drop-dead gorgeous’ girls (and probably boys) didn’t need a personality to be popular, and when wrinkles started to appear, some didn’t have a lot to fall back on.
Students and parents will worry regardless of what I say, but in hindsight, happiness is the real goal and stressing about final results doesn’t help.
In the long run, I found poor results in Year 12 didn’t hold me back.
So my advice to parents and students in the final phase of secondary school is take the time to read the Desiderata (every month until the exams).
Give it your best, but keep it all in perspective.