SCHOOL staff have reminded Bendigo Year 12 students that they mean more than their scores as they begin their Victorian Certificate of Education exams on Wednesday.
Hundreds of Bendigo students will sit their English exams today, beginning the three week VCE exam period.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College assistant principal Bronwyn Bishop said she told students the end of school was the start of their next adventure.
Ms Bishop said students were hesitant ahead of the exams, but many saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
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More than 600 BSSC students will sit the state's English exam at 9am on Wednesday.
Ms Bishop said an Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranks was only one part of students' lives, which may take a number of sidesteps.
My general principle in life is be kind to yourself. Don't always look at the negative, but look at the positive.Bronwyn Bishop
She pointed to her own story as an example.
"I had a definite aim to become an architect, and now here I am as a teacher, and I love my job. I had a plan, and my plan went haywire. And I ended up in a better outcome than I ever thought possible," Ms Bishop said.
"A two or three-digit ATAR will not today, nor will it ever, define you as a person.
"It is part of your life that might open doors and possibly get you into the unit course that you want. But it is not the sum total of who a person is. There are many pathways people take."
Ms Bishop said stressed students should seek support and talk to others about it.
While a normal level of anxiety was beneficial - often driving students' work - anyone not thinking clearly, or suffering panic attacks should seek help from family, friends or school staff, Ms Bishop said.
For parents, Ms Bishop suggested exams and post exams were a time to support students and celebrate their hard work. She said parents also had an important role bringing balance to students lives, helping them to eat well and exercise.
Ms Bishop said her advice for students was to focus on the positive.
"My general principle in life is be kind to yourself. Don't always look at the negative, but look at the positive," Ms Bishop said.
"Look at the knowledge that you have, rather than the knowledge that you don't."
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline (13 11 14) or BeyondBlue (1300 22 4636). If life is in danger, call 000.
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