It goes without saying, though you probably will have heard it time and time again, that your ATAR is not the be all and end all of anyone’s existence. That being said, there are those of you who did put in the hard yards, the long hours, the non-literal/literal blood, sweat and tears (I don’t know you), to end up being rewarded with a pretty decent result. Talking about it can be a bit of a tricky situation.

Too modest, and it comes off as though you’re better than the person at the other end of the conversation.

Too proud, and it comes off as though you think you’re better than the person at the other end of the conversation.

Personally, I’ve been on both ends of the conversation.
Scenario A
Person: How’d you go?
Me: Yeah, alright. Only got X.
Person: *scoffs* Oh, only?
Me: It’s alright, I could have done better.
Person: I only got Y, but OK. Just X.
(Spirals into something about having perspective and being mindful etc.)

Scenario B
Person: How’d you go?
Me: Yeah, pretty good. I got X.
Person: Oh yeah. Pretty good, eh?
Me: Yeah, well, I could have done better but I’m pretty happy.
Person: Oh yeah. So-and-So got Z plus, didn’t even study.
Me: That’s pretty good.
(Spirals into a one way pissing contest where I am the spectator)

Long story short, some form of shaming starts to get involved and it feels as though losing is the only option either way.

There shouldn’t be any shame attached with appreciating the end product of your own efforts every once in a while. So long as you don’t fall into the trap of basking in expired glory and being labelled “that guy/girl” post high school (read: tool). What’s so wrong with taking a step back and saying, “Yeah, I did well”?

Something endemic here in Australia is tall poppy syndrome, this culture of responding to success and status with criticism and resentment, because fuck ‘em, amirite? This practice of snipping people reaching the skies with longer stems just when they start to grow, so we can all stay in the dirt is downright petty and bordering on the hateful.

To those of you who did well, kudos. A congratulations is truly in order. You’ve earned it, now enjoy it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

By Garry Lu
Header image: @alice.horn | disposablealice

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