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High achievers share secrets

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December 20, 2017

Cooper Clydesdale, 18, Courtney Aldous, 18, Jacinta Robinson, 17, and Johans Panihoo, 18, all achieved outstanding VCE results at Seymour College in 2017.

With Christmas rolling around again another batch of Year 12s from Seymour College can breathe a sigh of relief, the stress and pressure of exams now well behind them.

More than 47000 qualifying VCE students received their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) from 7am last Friday morning, signalling the official end of their Year 12.

The average ATAR across all students was 65.10 with an average of 66.25 for females and 63.70 for males.

Seymour College students achieved some outstanding results, with Courtney Aldous, 18, awarded dux of the school. Courtney is now hoping to start a Bachelor of Teaching and Exercise Science at the Australian Catholic University with an eye to ultimately becoming a physiotherapist.

While Courtney was up early on results day, she said was quite relaxed then, as she had been throughout the whole year.

This positive mindset was important for her, and is something she encourages students heading into Year 12 in 2018 to focus on.

‘‘Don’t stress, it’s just another year, you’ll be fine,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s only if you let the stress that’s around you get to you — that’s when things start to crumble. Just focus on yourself, and make sure you’re not worrying about what others are doing.’’

Other high achievers at Seymour College, Jacinta Robinson (82.55), Johans Panchoo (86.9), and Cooper Clydesdale (81.4), were similarly upbeat.

‘‘It was very extreme at times — the ups were really high and the downs could be pretty bad. But Year 12 was also really fun — we had a bit more power and more responsibility, and there were also these special events we could attend,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘Even though the amount of work definitely increases, you also get more freedom, because the teachers trust you a bit — they know they can rely on you,’’ Johans said.

Jacinta said her main source of pressure throughout the year came from herself, rather than her teachers or her parents.

‘‘The personal pressure was the biggest thing — you want to get that personal satisfaction of getting where you want to go,’’ she said.

In terms of study routines, Jacinta said it was important for her to make time to recharge and keep doing the things she enjoyed, while the boys had some slightly quirkier habits.

‘‘I always drank cold water when I was studying to keep me awake. Someone else told me if you keep a bowl of chillies next to you while you’re working it keeps you on the ball — but that was a little too out there for me,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘I don’t know if I would recommend this, but I would always sleep straight after school, and then I would study from 9pm until 2am — that was my study time when I could focus,’’ Johans said.

Looking ahead, Jacinta said she’s interested in studying business management or commerce at university.

‘‘I only made this decision this year, but I was helping out backstage at my sister’s dance concert and I really enjoyed it — I really like organising stuff and bossing people around,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, Cooper and Johans both look destined for the health industry.

‘‘My mum is a receptionist at Goulburn Valley Imaging,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘After going in there one day and hanging out with the radiographer there I saw all the machines and how the scans work, and going home that night I basically set my mind to getting into that,’’ he said.

Johan said his first preference is for a biomedical course at Monash University, with the hope of one day getting into medicine.

‘‘My dad works at the Seymour Hospital, and I’ve always been attracted to that field,’’ he said.

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