‘‘Find a balance between studying and personal life’’ was the message delivered by two recent Seymour College alumni to this year’s senior students.
Ruby Sakarintr was dux of the school in 2018 and achieved an ATAR in the high 90s, which was enough for her to get an offer for her first preference: a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne.
Max Hooper also achieved a high enough ATAR to get into his first preference: a Bachelor of Engineering (Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics) (Honours) at RMIT University.
Max has also been in the public eye recently as he was named Young Citizen of the Year at Mitchell Shire’s Australia Day awards ceremony.
Ruby and Max were invited to speak at the first assembly for Seymour College’s Year 11 and 12 students and offered study tips and advice.
Both talked about how important it was to find balance and not focus 100 per cent on studying; both felt it led to students becoming burnt out.
Ruby found her balance by using her spares (study periods) to study and do assignments so that she didn’t have to study as much at home.
‘‘I don’t think studying hard is necessarily studying all the time. I didn’t really do that much studying at home at all,’’ she said.
‘‘Definitely don’t waste the spares because it’s 75 minutes of no distractions, it’s a much better environment than home.
‘‘It might be different for other people but it was really good for me having so many spares.’’
Ruby kept her job at Woolworths and did two shifts a week which gave her something else to focus on apart from school.
Max didn’t work but added to his non-school activities by starting a band, playing tenor saxophone in the Mitchell Shire Concert Band, having guitar lessons and playing tennis.
‘‘Establish a balance between your lust for life and your school life because that will keep you motivated to stay strong throughout VCE. I played tennis, tenor sax and guitar and formed a band in my last year. All of this crammed in with school and I managed to pull it off,’’ he said during the assembly.
Max also advocated for students using their spare class time to their advantage and said students should also use the study nights because the teachers were there to help their students do their best.
Max and Ruby are now focused on their futures and will head to university in Melbourne to chase their dreams.
While Rudy is aware her Commerce degree might be a bit ‘‘dry’’, she intends on sticking with it, an indication of why she did so well in Year 12.
‘‘I really do just want to stick at it. I’m not really one to just start something and a few months and be like, ‘Oh, I hate this’ and just give up. I don’t really want to consider if I don’t like it, I want to just keep at it,’’ she said.
She was also clear-eyed about her future after uni, setting aside any career decisions until after she has finished her degree.
‘‘I don’t really have a vision as such — just because if I don’t get there, I don’t want to be disappointed and I don’t want to lock myself into anything and then that prevents me from any potential opportunities because I’ve got my heart set on something that I might not even like. So I want to just do the course and see where it takes me.
‘‘If work opportunities come out of it, I’ll take those. But I sort of just want to take it as it comes. See what happens.’’
Max has a clearer idea of where he wants to end up after completing his engineering degree but isn’t limiting himself either, seeing his future as ‘‘somewhere along the lines of manufacturing robotic equipment and computerised machinery.’’
The advice to students from Max and Ruby was to have some sort of an idea about where they wanted to go, and that it was all about trying to find the right balance for each individual.