I graduated from Ballarat Clarendon College in 2008 with an ENTER (final year) score of 98.85 (highest ranking is 99.95) and a Premier’s Award for my study score of 50 (perfect score) in Geography. I am a strong believer in making the most of your time at school and so I was Visual Arts Leader during Year 12 and was awarded Subject Prizes in Literature, Geography and Art as well as the Principal’s Special Prize.
I got into a Bachelor of Science at the University of Ballarat, a course I had my heart set on since I was 15.
Uni was eye opening. Any university is a melting pot of different cultures, races, political viewpoints and socio-economic classes. However, the most noticeable difference between me and my peers was our attitudes towards learning. While I was never worried about asking the lecturer, professor or tutor questions or sending them emails or doing extra research, most of my friends hadn’t even bought the recommended text for the chapter readings. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me not to try so hard, I’d have at least 5 extra dollars. The thing is I never viewed it as trying. College had taught me that I had to be disciplined to get what I wanted. As the years went by this difference in educational work ethic became more and more pronounced.
It was through this process that I discovered that it was not the subject matter per se that interested me, but the process of learning itself. About half way through my degree I found that it was the learning and imparting of knowledge that I found most compelling and so I set my sights on becoming a teacher.
That’s not to say I don’t find science interesting. This week I’ve been in the labs at RMIT doing experiments and I also have an almost concerning fascination with parasites.
What I’m trying to say is your heart’s desire will change as you grow and experience new things. Don’t fight it with a picture in your head of what you’re meant to be. Because as Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive”.
Even if your dreams change, keep in mind that a College education provides you with more than just an impressive Tertiary Admissions Rank and the appropriate prerequisites. The staff impart a work ethic that is applicable to everything you attempt in life, be it sport, arts or academics. The school also teaches us to be big thinkers and to dream big. As Ballarat Clarendon College graduates, we are ambitious and capable.
As I look around me I see the celebration of excellence. All students here have the opportunities available to them to be interesting, successful individuals, and I think that is terribly exciting as an educator. I wish to congratulate the award recipients for their hard work and dedication to their pursuits, and I also wish those from the class of 2011 all the best with their journey. Have faith in yourselves and your ability because, as a school, we certainly do.