Sandra Sully On Exam Results: 'I Never Had A Plan'

My note to all school-leavers this week.

The results are in and well, they are not what you expected?

Well, don’t fret, don’t stress, and don’t fall into a heap.

You simply can’t change what is done, but you can change what you do about it.

It might be a milestone for some, but to others, it’s just a moment in time when you have to accept that things have not gone exactly to plan.

But what was the plan, I ask you?

Some say it’s always good to have a plan, but, I disagree.

I have never had a plan.

I have always found the whole concept of dreaming up some bold, big deal, well kind of useless really.

Certainly, to each their own, but for me, nah!

That’s not to say I don’t dream big, I do, but I just don’t plan ahead …that much.

I have always led with my gut and chased what makes me happy.

I never planned to be a journalist, and I certainly never planned on reading the News on Network 10.

My high school results were fine, but to be honest, I got what I deserved because I didn’t try that hard. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do by the time I finished school. Instead, I travelled, chased a job in health and fitness, studied and then fell into a job in journalism.

Given my only goal was to find what I enjoyed doing and then do it - it all worked out.

As you process your exam results this week - some of you will be over the moon, and some of you won’t be.

It can be a minefield, but don’t let it be a mindf**k.

Don’t let it rule or ruin your future.

It is NOT the end of the world and it certainly doesn’t have to define you.

I have met and interviewed scores of interesting people who never even finished school. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating is a great example.

Life doesn’t go according to some grand plan. There are hiccups and setbacks along the way, but it’s what you do with them, that helps you grow and learn.

When I was first reading 10's five-o'clock news I was unceremoniously 'moved on’.   While I was initially devastated, I also knew I had to keep money coming in to pay the rent etc.

I went back on the road for a number of years and realised that perhaps it all happened for a reason. I needed to learn from my mistakes, focus on improving my weaknesses and play to my strengths.

So accept your reality and pick yourself up, dust yourself off and do something about it, when you are ready.

But importantly, after an incredibly stressful period, make sure you take some time out for YOU.

Spend some time with the people you care about, and work out what it is you love to do.

Work out what your strengths are and what they’re not.

Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t.



Sleep and laugh a lot.

Life can be short…enjoy where you are and what you do, because you never know what’s next.

Note to self -- stop expecting!

And remember "disappointment is really just a term for our refusal to look at the bright side" (Richelle E. Goodrich).

Sandra Sully is 10 daily's Managing News Editor and is one of many celebrities and creators sharing their support for Year 12 students this week, in a new initiative from Instagram and headspace Australia. 

#GramFam Australia  messages are available now on headspace Australia's Instagram @headspace_aus