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Topic: Alternative options to completing VCE?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    8 posts
    20 June 2019

    Hello! I'm currently in year 11 at a public school.I previously attended an all-girls catholic school but moved as I didn't feel like the school suited me. I've was diagnosed with anxiety at 13, went through a depressive episode last year and I'm on medication to help with my anxiety.

    I'm currently doing VCE and i'm on thin ice. There's a minimum 90% attendance, and in most of my subjects I've dropped below 80% attendance. I got like 5 emails today saying I'm receiving an N (non-satisfactory) outcome for Unit 1, aka I've failed basically all my classes due to attendance. My parents and year level coordinators are determined to help me finish VCE by next year, i.e. as I have a mental illness I am eligible for special consideration so I am exempt from the 90% rule. But after receiving those emails, I'm starting to doubt my ability to get through VCE, even if my poor attendance won't affect my score anymore. Since god knows when, I've been dreaming of the day i can leave high school. Literally the main reason I refuse to repeat another year of school is because I just want to get out of here as soon as I can. Last week I had exams and I flunked them so hard. My brain turned to cement and I did so poorly. I've never done so bad at a school assessment EVER. At this point I'm certain I won't get a decent ATAR without destroying my mental health and burning out. I'm now questioning why I should even put myself through that if I might not even go to uni and therefore not need an ATAR. I used to want to go to uni but now I'm finding there are more cons to going to uni than not.. e.g. costs a lot, Arts degree won't guarantee me a job, more of what I don't enjoy (sitting in classrooms, writing pages and pages, exams).

    I know there are other options to VCE but I'm not exactly sure what and how. I could do TAFE or whatever,I guess. I'm not really educated on the other options as I always intended to do VCE and my parents always pushed me towards VCE also. Another issue is if I decide to discontinue VCE I'm afraid my parents will be disappointed and that my friends will judge me for it (but at the same time, I doubt they would be surprised).

    Would really love some guidance and advice. As VCE 3/4 subject selection is next term, I'd like to figure out a sense of direction sooner rather than later.

  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    396 posts
    21 June 2019 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hi spontaneous sunflower,

    Thank you for your post. I'm from SA so we have our SACE here, but I think that's our equivalent of the VCE. I had the option of not doing my SACE at all, completing my SACE, or completing my SACE with a TER. Is that the same for you?

    I get that this is all hard right now, but I wonder what it might be like to just swish that aside for a moment and think about where you'd like to end up after all of it. What sort of career/industry? What were your intentions for studying the arts degree? What sort of future would you like to have?

    If you can think about that, it might help you to broaden your options. Maybe the career you'd really like requires a university degree, or maybe a TAFE certificate, or maybe just experience in the field.

    That way, instead of working from the ground up (what the heck do I do now?) it's working top down (what do I need to do to get to where I want to be?), and then you can take it from there.

    Hope this helps,

  3. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    8 posts
    25 June 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thanks for replying!

    Reading your response actually helped me put a couple things into perspective. When I wrote this post I was having a particularly difficult day and although I stand by a couple things I said that day, I was also being a bit melodramatic, hahaha.

    My intentions to do an arts degree was because of two things really- I'm interested in humanities subjects and an Arts degree offers a lot of flexibility for someone, like me, who doesn't exactly know what they want to do. In regards to the future I envision for myself...I'm not entirely sure, I'm just going with the flow, so to say. One thing I know for sure is that I'd love to travel.. This has been the only consistent dream of mine since like year 8. I've always planned to take a gap year before going to uni. For a while, I wanted to be a journalist but I've changed my mind :/

    After having a little chat with my mum, I'm most likely going to stick with VCE. I have the option of doing unscored VCE too, which means I wouldn't get an ATAR or do end of year exams, but i probably won't do that unless I was absolutely sure I don't want to go to uni or as a last resort I guess if it gets too tough. Honestly,the thing I'm dreading the most about yr12 is that during the winter months, I have a habit to break down and my studying habits, my routine, attendance all goes to crap. So far this year I don't think it's stuffed me up too much but I'm nervous because it could really muck me up in year 12. If mucking up during winter next year is just the difference between me getting a 80 atar or a 60 atar, considering i might not even go to uni... maybe it won't be a big deal. That's not to say i'll just let my anxiety mess with my school life, but just that I'll just focus on getting through it rather than obsessing over what it might do to my scores.

    Anyway, I'm starting VCE Unit 2 now so I still have time to decide things. Uni isn't completely off the cards but I'd like to have some backup options because based on my current feelings, I don't think uni is for me. Right now I'm just going to focus on doing the best I can in year 11. Year 12 is still a few months away!

    Thanks again for replying, you've definitely helped clear my mind a little bit!

  4. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    396 posts
    27 June 2019 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hi spontaneous sunflower,

    Oh you're very welcome!! I'm glad that it helped, and you didn't seem melodramatic at all! :) I do get it though haha

    Ah, that makes total sense. Yup, arts degrees offer lots of flexibility if you're not entirely sure where to go. I think that there's so much pressure to have things all figured out so it's great to hear you want to 'go with the flow', that definitely sounds pretty cruisy! There's also alternative entry for uni if you decide to go later (like after a gap year) or with credit from TAFE.

    For what its worth, I tried to do my SACE with a TER score too, but ended up having to drop subjects for the TER. It is very demanding, but at the same time there's lots of people in the same boat as you and lots of support if you need it.

    I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide :)