What a matric certificate is not

A great deal of emphasis is placed on achieving good matric results, and rightly so. You can not hope to succeed in life without hard work and sacrifice. However, it is important to remember that your entire future is not bound to this one result.

The Matric certificate is seen as the gateway to other opportunities in life and in many ways this is true. The reality is that higher education institutions demand a certain level of academic performance that students are expected to demonstrate at school.

Those who can't or don't meet these expectations are often forced to watch from the sidelines as the more fortunate individuals walk though the university gates toward “a better life”.

Many believe that a matric certificate will open these doors but ultimately it is the person behind the paper that unlocks the opportunity.

Here are 5 things to bare in mind about what a Matric certificate really says about you.

It does not define you

Whether you passed with flying colours or bombed in your final exam your Grade 12 academic result is not the only truth about who you are. We are complex beings who are more than just our 'skills set' or logical reasoning ability. We are made up of interests, likes, experiences, talents, strengths, weaknesses and much more. Don't let a document tell you who you are.

It is not the greatest measure of your ability

The problem with the matric certificate is that it only measures performance within a limited range of areas. There are all kinds of people that have abilities that cannot necessarily be demonstrated in a school framework. For example artists are gifted in ways that often cannot be determined through a written exam. Maybe you are good with your hands or have a creative mindset, recognize the limitations of the educational system and its measuring blocks.

It is not your only opportunity for a higher education

If you did not achieve a bachelors pass or were not accepted into a university straight after school don't lose hope. There are many other ways that you can learn more about a field that interests you. There are private colleges or online courses that you could enroll in. In addition the internet has enabled access to a huge amount of research, studies and information. Make use of these tools to build up your knowledge as much as you can.

It does not determine your career path

Many people feel discouraged when they don't qualify to enter their chosen course. However, in most cases there are other ways that you can break into a profession. One idea is to find a company in that sector and start working in a junior or low level position. This is a common way for people in the banking sector to move up the ranks and into senior financial positions. Some companies even fund employee studies if they see the right amount of drive and potential.

Alternatively, connect with people in that field and keep your ears open for study or work opportunities. Find a mentor who can guide you and teach you about the non-academic skills you need to make it in the industry as you seek other opportunities.

It is not the final predictor of your success

People of a school going age are very often immature and irresponsible and as a result neglect their school work. Yet many come to realize later in life the importance of hard work and commitment. As you discover who you are and find your place in the world you might also discover a new drive to become a productive member of society. Don't underestimate your potential or let your past or you beginning dictate your degree of success at the end.

Your matric certificate is not so much the final test but rather just another part of a lifelong lesson that you will learn. Even if you had a rough start you can still finish well.

By Cindy Payle

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