TODAY will be a very memorable day in the life of a year 12 student.
After 13 long, and at times, tedious years, it all comes down to a four digit score that will determine the rest of a student's life.
The HSC results can be surprising, in both a good and a bad way, and it can also be exactly what it is - four digits separated by a decimal point.
Every student has their dream. Some want to be doctors, teachers and even journalists. Others are happy to begin a four year apprenticeship in carpentry.
But one thing needs to be understood - a poor ATAR score is not the end of the world (despite rumours this will indeed come to pass this coming Friday).
If, for example, a student were to receive an ATAR of 50.70 and needed a score of 75.30, you don't just give up.
Sure, you may not be able to start your dream university course straight away - but all good things come to those who wait (and who travel on a slightly different path).
Students can go to TAFE for a year and get high marks - high enough to secure a place in that dream university course a year later.
A bit of extra time and effort can make all the difference, just as long as you apply yourself.
A dream that you've had since the age of 16 can still become a reality, it just might take a little bit longer than expected.
When you get there, perhaps five years later, you'll look back on the day you received those disappointing results and laugh - because at the end of it all, that four digit ATAR meant nothing.
The team at the Daily Liberal congratulate each and every one of the HSC students in 2012.