After you finish up your exams it’s easy to feel a bit deflated. It can feel like despite all the hard work you put in, you struggled to answer any of the questions and your dreams of heading to a top uni next year are over. You might start looking at the ATAR cut off for your course and think there’s literally no way you’re going to meet it. Reshuffling your preferences seems like a solid option so you consider putting the top uni you’ve wanted to go to all year at the bottom of your list, and one that seems easier to get in at the top.

Let me tell you that this is one of the worst things you can do.

Even if you’re not sure you’re going to get the marks you need, you shouldn’t be putting a top uni anywhere but first if that’s where you really want to go. Selling yourself short and sabotaging your own chances at getting into a top uni by putting it way down the list isn’t the way to go.

It’s easy to be intimidated by top uni’s like ANU. When you’re looking at a uni that ranks 20th in the world and 1st in Australia, it’s easy to write yourself off and think I’m not good enough to go there.

But the truth is, you’re not going to know unless you try. Changing around your preferences, deciding that you’re not good enough or falling back on your Plan B without even giving Plan A a chance will only lead to regret later down the line.

Remember why you chose that uni in the first place. Was it because it had the perfect course for you? Did it have quality teachers or top notch facilities? Was it because you knew that the uni vibe was just right and you were excited to be a part of it?

You don’t want to be spending your uni years plagued with what if.

 What if I had just applied?

 What if I’d gotten in?

 What if I’d been accepted to study at my dream uni?

Selling yourself short will lead to guaranteed regret, I can promise you that.

You don’t want to miss out on the best uni experience just because you sold yourself short. Don’t write yourself off just because you don’t think you’re good enough. ‘Top’ doesn’t equal impossible or not worth trying. If anything, it means you should be doing absolutely everything you can to get in, because you know it’ll be the best place for you to get your degree and experience uni life. Self-sabotaging your chances because you’re scared to face rejection is not the way to go.

Whatever you want to do, go after it. Don’t ever think that something is beyond you, or that you can’t achieve something. If you want to get into a top uni, apply. Put it at the top of your preferences, look at bonus point schemes and alternative entry. Don’t talk yourself out of trying, because that’s a sure-fire way of failing. Do whatever you can do give yourself the best chance of getting in because, at the end of the day, deciding what uni to go to is going to be one of the biggest decisions you’ve made during your high school life, and you’ll want it to be a good one.

ANU is a top uni for a reason, and if you want to sus out all the good stuff they have and find out what makes them so ace, head here.

Header image: @benlaver_

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