As a Year 12 Student and a 17 year old, I find myself constantly asking “Why?”.

  • Why does NESA or BOSTES or whoever want me to learn about Shakespeare?
  • Why do other students like to test my patience by standing in the middle of the hallway?
  • Why do I complain so much when millions of people throughout the world would give anything to have what I have?
  • Why are siblings so annoying?
  • Why can’t we just have a proletarian revolution and overthrow the bourgeoisie?
  • Why will a number I will be assigned on the 14th of December play such a huge role in determining my future?
  • Why do I have to memorise and regurgitate 1000 words in an essay when I’m just going to forget it all in one day?

As you can see, the simple three lettered word ‘why’ can either drive you insane or help you achieve greatness (is there really a difference though?)

I believe that being inquisitive is an awesome trait to have because it demonstrates that you care and that you have a desire to learn and understand more about the things around you. But that’s just it. As teenagers, as hormonal crazy organisms going through a critical stage in our lives, it is of huge importance that we not only ask about the external factors at play around us, but that we also direct this method of interrogation internally – we need to ask ourselves why?

More specifically in terms of studying and academic success, it is imperative that we become conscious of our passion. Call it hunger or yearning or fate or whatever, but it is my belief that each and every one of us is here to do something. It doesn’t have to be amazing, it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering – it just needs to be representative of YOU.

The Importance of Finding Your Why

By illuminating yourself and genuinely understanding your passion and drive, you can honestly do anything. Without a Why, “we can quickly fall into disillusionment, distraction and a quiet sense of despair” according to Forbes.

I feel like disillusionment, distraction and despair perfectly summarise the way many students feel about the HSC and school in general.

While there are many things that can contribute to these feelings, an underlying factor is lack of passion and not being aware of one’s why. Consider your teachers as an example. It is my experience that the teachers who are passionate about what they teach and are more likely to keep you interested in class and reduce the chances of you falling asleep. Because they enjoy what they do, they work harder

When it’s 1:26 am and you have 16 more Math’s questions on biometric data and you just feel like having a minor coma, your why will give you that extra push. The great German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why can endure any how”.

By having a why in the back of your mind constantly, you will have the energy and motivation to not only kick ass this year, but do it with style.

The Way to Find Your Why

1. Ask Yourself

What makes you mad? What do you wish you could help change? Who do you hope to be 5, 10, 15 years from now? What are you good at?

By asking yourself these questions, you can get closer and closer to uncovering your why.

2. Ask Others

Obviously, the way other people think of you should not play a huge role in the search for your why, but your parents, teachers, friends and family may actually be quite helpful and can provide insight into what they think you can achieve. Don’t base your entire existence around their beliefs but use them as a starting point. For instance, a topic that always causes much disagreement and anger within my household is the fact that I struggle with keeping my mouth shut. For this reason my parents believe a career that involves talking would suit me.

3. Research

If your why requires you to have a TAFE Certificate or Diploma, google it! If you need to study at University for your why, make sure you’re aware of requisite subjects and the ATAR cut-off.

4. Don’t Be Like Jack – Never Let Go!


It is highly likely that there will come times when you could care less about your why. It will be painful and boring and difficult, but hold on to your passion. Don’t let your why get chucked out because of a bad grade. Don’t let a scathing remark by a friend or family member put you down. When you find your why, never let go of it. Work your ass off, be the best you can be and you WILL make it closer to fulfilling your why.

Don’t second guess yourself. Be confident in your abilities but always have the desire to do and be better. There is always room for improvement. Your why may change but the same concept still applies:

 WHY + HARD WORK + CONSISTENCY = FULFILMENT & HAPPINESS

Good Luck!

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Daide Chaker is a sleep-deprived student at Wyndham College who is aiming to make it through the HSC with her mind, body and soul still intact. Daide is a chronic procrastinator, Frank Ocean aficionado and Pringles connoisseur. She is an expert in the art of binge-watching and is also an avid reader.