Latrobe Valley year 12 students are holding tight for tomorrow's VCE results as Lowanna College graduate of 2007, Bryce Magnuson, reminds them "it's not the end of the world" if things do not shape up as expected.
"I think my ATAR score has come up in conversation maybe four times since receiving it 11 years ago," Dr Magnuson said.
"I remember receiving it. I was terrified. Not because I thought I had done poorly, but because I was worried it would be lower than my teachers and family expected."
The 29-year-old is now a marketing lecturer at Federation University's Berwick and Gippsland campuses, has completed a PhD and has a side business in screen printing and ethical clothing.
He spoke to The Express from Hong Kong, where he is wrapping up a month of lecturing in time for Christmas.
"Compared to my expectations at school, this couldn't be further away from what I thought I would be doing," Dr Magnuson said.
"In hindsight, my scope for post-school prospects were quite narrow."
He reminded students about to receive their ATAR score, "there are more pathways to a career and a future that suits you than you can possibly imagine".
"Fortunately, there's more to see when you take the long way round. Trust me," he said.
"Just work hard, enjoy the journey and make the most of the opportunities that present themselves."
While students await their ATAR results tomorrow, a national foundation for youth mental health, headspace, is reminding those graduating support is available.
The foundation has identified a link between mental health and active engagement in work or study with 27 per cent of people presenting at one of their centres not in employment or training.
"When you're in the busyness of year 11 and 12 you don't have time to be reflecting," the coordinator headspace's digital work and studies service, Adrienne Hazeldene, said.
"We can slow things down and give young people that reflection space."
The program operates digitally, so young people in regional or rural Victoria can receive career advice and gain skills to become "career self-reliant".
"Statistics show us a young person is going to have 11 career changes," Ms Hazeldene said.
For more information, visit headspace.org.au/work-and-study-support.