I remember the day I got my year 12 results with searing intensity.
Not because I was overcome with a sense of joy or relief but because I was completely gutted, trying to subdue the overwhelming urge to break down in tears at 6am.
I never felt like I was a smart child. As a primary school student I struggled to comprehend basic arithmetic and somehow forgot how to read over the summer holidays. I always felt like I was struggling to keep up.
In the early years of high school, I wasn’t much better. I consistently failed maths and science and found it hard to believe I would ever amount to anything.
I spent much of my childhood and early teenage years riddled with self doubt about my abilities and was struck with a sense of astonishment every time I some how managed to do well.
Every time I succeeded I felt like an imposter who had somehow managed to cheat the system, and never did I feel more like I was trying to maintain the façade of a successful student than I did in year 12.
I had found my academic footing later in life when I was finally allowed to pick my own subjects, and things felt like they were falling into place. I managed to do quite well in the last two years of school and, against all my better judgement, began to think perhaps I wasn’t the idiot who was somehow pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes.
Before the grades were released, I had calculated my predicted result and was quietly confident I would get the marks I needed to get into the university course I wanted.
The scores I needed for each subject were stuck up on my pin board and marked in my school diary and I spent the year working hard with that number in mind.