We’re unravelling some of the stuff that worries you about your career.
Below, a reader is struggling at a school that feels limited.
As Director (of) People and Culture at Nine, Vanessa Morley helps people navigate their own path every day. She’s here to help.
Don’t forget to send us your questions (form below)!
— your letter —
The opportunities available to me seem… slim.
Basically I am constantly anxiety-ridden because I’m worried about my Higher School Certificate (HSC, High School’s final year and series of exams). I’m in year 12 and to put it bluntly my school is not a good school. It performs well in the arts but not in actual academics. I don’t know if I should move schools or not, and the stress is affecting me in many ways.
I’m smart and I feel like I’m not getting pushed to my potential or have the right teaching around me.
~ Alex*, 17, Sydney
— Vanessa’s suggestion —
This totally resonates with me Alex.
I grew up in a small country town where we didn’t have the access to all the great things that a lot of schools had in bigger towns or in the city. But I knew I wanted to do well, and with moving schools not an option, I had to work out how to do it in the environment I was in and focus on what was good.
Good family. Good friends. They are the things that can’t be guaranteed in any new school.
Here’s my two key suggestions for you:
Don’t wait for someone else to push you to your potential.
Only you can do that – no one else really knows what you can be. It’s actually not about the school or the teachers. It’s about you. Push yourself. Start setting some goals, break them down, and take some small steps towards achieving them.
… and 2.
Please, please try to ease your anxiety about the HSC.
I know that sounds way easier than it is. I got myself into such a state with my own HSC (many years ago!) that I almost had a breakdown. Literally. And it is just not worth that.
The HSC is one small part of your life.
It will hopefully help you get into what you want to do next, but it is not everything. Some of the most successful people I know didn’t do great in their HSC. I know I say that with the benefit of hindsight, but I really wish someone had told me that when I was in Year 12.
Try to enjoy the other parts of your last year of school.
It is honestly just the beginning for you, no matter what your results are.
*Name has been changed, and question edited for length.