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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor

A VIEW OF THE WEEK: Class of 2023, a matric doesn’t have to be a deathwish

Getting your matric results can be a moment of happiness and relief, later followed by anxiety that can cripple.

It was long past midnight but the newspaper truck had not yet arrived. I was waiting in a line of two or three when it finally did.

This small group watched anxiously as a man brought the delivery in. The moment all formalities had finished, we grabbed a copy, rushing past the front pages to find what we were looking for: our matric results.

It has been many years since matriculants participated in this tradition, my class was one of the last of the era, but the anticipation of waiting to see if you passed is still there.

It was felt by thousands of school leavers this week when IEB and NSC results were released, and it will still be felt in 12 years when those who started “big school” on Wednesday get theirs.

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It is a sokkie of emotions. The anxiety, relief, and then either hope or dread for a future largely unknown.

For one of the first times of many in the next decade, you are largely on your own to make decisions that impact your future. The guardrails and training wheels are off, and you determine what you make of your life.

This often comes with the assumption that you will make a massive success of yourself, a weight of expectation that can be crippling.

You may feel as if yours must be a rags-to-riches or continue-the-dynasty story. You may feel overwhelmed at the commitment of black tax and the task of carrying your family’s name and legacy when you can barely make sense of the world yourself.

These are normal emotions. Be assured, the light will be there at the end of the tunnel, and there is always help.

Regardless of whether you study further or go straight into the workforce, there are trained people to talk to both on campus and via free services like the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s helplines. These provide guidance and hope whether in person, on the phone, or on WhatsApp.

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The pressure to succeed can lead to several faking qualifications, like in the case of bogus doctor Matthew Lani and questions this week about the qualifications of economist Thabi Leoka.

Remember, that like in your exams, in life you will get out what you put in. While your circumstances may not be great, many have walked the path before and overcome hardship.

You’ve got this far and achieved so much already. You are built to win your race, not to please others.

Choose to stay positive and work hard − even if it means you are only in a queue of two or three − and be assured there is a much larger queue cheering you on.

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