I have just finished high school last year and going to University next year and I have been thinking whether all the stress, anxiety, and pressure to perform well was really worth it after all Atar is only valid for two years before disappearing without a trace.
I have been told by the school, family and some friends that year 12 means just studying and other types of commitment are always the second priority. But through experiencing year 12, I started to question myself whether the experience of trying my absolute best while giving up some of my hobbies such as playing games. I can now tell that year 12 isn't just about studying it's the experience with friends and build a relationship with teachers as you can become good friends with them. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be studying, I'm implying that you should have a balance through year 12. I have seen students that didn't have a balance that has dropped out due to the pressure and stress to performing well to get to their desired goal.
Through my journey through year 12, I learned that there is no point stressing as even if you don't get the desired atar there are many other directions that can be taken to achieve the same goal. Imagine that school is a straight path from A to B towards your goal which is getting the atar required to get into the course(assuming you are going to university). By not getting the wanted atar, your path is getting through other means as it takes longer to achieve the same achievement. However, even if you take longer than others your achievement isn't then people who achieve earlier.
Atar after a few years is useless as by that time if waited you can get into your desired course. I contemplated and decided that the suffering of year 12 isn't worth it and shouldn't have tried overly hard to study. at some point, I felt like having a mental break down and start crying for absolutely no reason. But somehow I persisted through and passed year 12. But year 12 Isn't always regretful, it gives a good life experience of how real life is and how sacrifices help you something make a more informed decision.
When I was sitting down to do the exam I realized that studying for SAC's and exam are different as the format criteria are different so id felting like you have to restart from scratch. But all in all, it was a genuine adventure. Year 12 is the final year of high school as some of the events that occur need to be celebrated with friends and teachers as they become fond memories that will become irreplaceable, as it can never happen again.
My final point in whether atar matters, I would disagree after an extended period is lost its value and meaning, as getting a higher atar doesn't signify how smart it just a mere test of obedience. There is a saying that you don't test a fish's ability to climb a tree as it means that atar doesn't depict how smart or your talent. And people who didn't get the atar they wanted they needed to believe that it's not the end of the world, as a door closes a new door open means that they should never giver at the end they will be able to reach their destination.