Thousands of recent college graduates will be having a restless night's sleep tonight, with ATAR results due to be released on Wednesday.
Though Year 12 results play an integral part in a young person's transition into a career or further education, these young people have found that passion and determination are the real keys to success.
19-year-old Sam Sterpin had long-held ambitions of a career in building and construction after growing up watching his grandfather working in the industry.
"Even since Grade 7 I've been fascinated about how buildings went up, my Pop was an inspiration as he was a builder and I helped him build his house," he said.
"It's been my dream job for the past seven years."
After finishing college, Mr Sterpin studied a Certificate II in Building and Construction at TasTAFE- hoping it would help him stand out from the crowd and land an apprenticeship.
After applying for numerous apprenticeships with limited success, Mr Sterpin recently secured an apprenticeship with R & M Clarke Building.
He said that finally getting a foot in the door of his dream industry had not been easy, but said he had persisted and continued to pass on his resume and undertake work experience.
"In the end, it was right time and right place, I went to Master Buildings and they came through with R & M Clarke Building who were looking for an apprentice," he said.
With the current construction boom, Mr Sterpin was "stoked" to be joining the industry at such a key time and had loved the experience so far.
"I wouldn't be able to be in an office, it's just not me, being part of a team where you can work together and create something is great," he said
"And being able to stand back and look at what you've built, it just amazes me."
TasTAFE chief executive Grant Dreher said TasTAFE provided excellent pathways to some of the state's key growth industries.
"Tasmania's construction industry is booming and there are many job opportunities in construction and allied trades and associated trades such as plumbing, electrotechnology, civil construction, and automotive," Mr Dreher said.
"A vocational qualification is nationally recognised, provides practical, transferrable skills and is valued by industry. Vocational skills are also highly transferable and focus on skills that employers are looking for -like communication, teamwork, initiative and problem-solving.
"Skilled vocational graduates earn wages comparable to, if not exceeding, university graduates and are in high demand across a wide range of industry areas due to the practical, hands-on experience gained throughout training."
For Mr Sterpin, the challenge of getting into the industry only emboldened his desire to make his mark on the construction industry and he encourages the 2021 graduates to never give up.
"Keep pursuing it, keep getting your name out there and keep putting your resume out there, and just keep going," he said.
Montannah Ennis,19, is the first person in her family to attend university, and after a difficult Year 12 she wondered if she would make it at all.
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Raised in Smithton, Ms Ennis moved to Burnie to attend college before a COVID-19 outbreak in the North-West left her studying remotely.
"I had to move back home and do school online, which was difficult because you weren't really able to talk to the teachers as much as you would be able to in a normal class, it was really tricky," Ms Ennis said.
With ambitions of enrolling in a Bachelor of Architecture and Built Environments at UTAS, once her ATAR results were released the student was left feeling despondent.
"I was aiming a lot higher than what I ended up getting, and it was really disappointing at the time," she said.
Thankfully for Ms Ennis, a program provided through the University of Tasmania allowed her another pathway.
UTAS Strategy, Finance and Marketing vice president Craig Barling said that in response to the impact of COVID-19, UTAS developed a new program.
"In 2020, to reduce the stress students and their families were facing in an incredibly challenging year, we worked with schools and the Department of Education to design and implement a Schools Recommendation Program," Mr Barling said.
Rather than an ATAR, under the program, it is a teacher's recommendation, along with prior academic performance, that determines if a student is enrolled.
Mr Barling said the program had an incredible impact and had led to an increase in applicants statewide, as well as an increase in applications from people with disability.
"We received enrolments from schools that have never had an enrolment before," he said.
"Looking at our students' academic outcomes this year, it is clear that greater access has not compromised excellence."
For Ms Ennis, the pathway program has allowed her to pursue her dream of becoming an architect and one day owning her own architecture firm.
After completing her first year of university and receiving high marks, she said she wanted to encourage this year's graduates not to give up if they don't get the ATAR they initially wanted.
"There are plenty of alternative pathways to be able to get into uni," Ms Ennis said.
"You shouldn't let one grade determine whether or not you are able to uni in the future."
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