I Could Have Done Better

Growing up with parents who are high school teachers and cousins/family friends various years older than me, I’ve always known about the HSC. And I’ve always had high expectations for myself. I’ve always been told that I was bright, that I had potential, that the world was my oyster


And for a few years there, I believed it. 

But then real life got in the way. I know there are kids out there who have the ability to study for hours on end, who are able to ace every test, who work hard, and get the results they deserve. You see them on the front page of the paper with their 99.95s every year. I used to dream of being one of them. Not necessarily 99.95, but getting a 98 or so. I remember once, when I was about twelve, telling everyone that I would cry if I got under 95 and if I got under 90 I’d repeat year twelve. Two of my cousins have got over 99, so I knew it was possible, and that it was in my genes. I believed that I could, and would, do it. 

I’m currently two exams into the HSC. So far, it’s going okay. But it’s not brilliant, it’s nothing to celebrate. At the moment, if everything goes according to plan, I’ll get a solid ATAR. It won’t be anything mind blowingly amazing, but it’ll be something. And last week I got into Arts/Law at the University of Wollongong, so I have somewhere to go next year. 

I just hate thinking about how disappointed past me would be. 

In all honesty, I’m going to be lucky to get 90. I’ve accepted that, and it’s my fault. Because you know what?  I could have done better. I could have studied harder. I could have paid more attention in class and done more of the homework and the past papers. But I didn’t, and now I have to deal with the consequences. There will be people who are disappointed in me. People who will let me know that I could have, maybe even should have, done better. That I’ve been wasting my time and not reaching my potential. I will be disappointed in me, to a certain degree. 

Everyone this week has been telling me (and the rest of year twelve) that our ATARs and our HSC results aren’t the end of the world. And I know that. I’m into Uni already. I have good media contacts already. There are a million ways into everything. But that’s not what I’m worried about. I hate feeling like I haven’t lived up to my potential. I hate feeling like I could have done better. I hate being beaten by those less naturally talented but who worked a lot harder. I hate that I haven’t met my expectations. 

I hate that this story could have had a different ending. 

frangipani princess xoxo
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3 thoughts on “I Could Have Done Better

  1. "I hate being beaten by those less naturally talented but who worked a lot harder."Real life lesson in work ethic trumping natural ability. You need both to succeed. Do you think perhaps people that work harder deserve it more and sacrificed more?

  2. I'm in exactly the same situation. I've always wanted an atar of 95+ to get into veterinary science, but I haven't been trying at all, and all my atar predictions say I'll get 78-80.I saw somewhere that you said you think you'll get ~90? That isn't bad AT ALL. It means you've been 90% of your year 7 cohort. You're in the top 10%, and that isn't an easy thing to achieve. Be thankful that you won't get ~80.You still have time to work hard and pull your marks up. Good luck for the rest of your exams 🙂

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