From the 2018 School Dux

“Good morning Ms Rodwell, staff, distinguished guests, parents, students, and the class of 2018. I would like to begin by saying what an honour it is to be receiving this award and I am incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity to stand before you all today as dux of Bethany College. However I cannot make this speech without acknowledging the hard work of the entire cohort and commending their tremendous efforts throughout 2018. The achievements of last year’s opals in both academics, sport and extracurricular created a diversely talented and well rounded group of girls that I am so proud to be apart of.

Throughout my HSC year, achieving dux was not a conscious goal of mine. For me, success in the HSC was not defined by achieving the greatest result, but rather by putting in the most effort and receiving an ATAR which depicted that.

On that note, I would like to extend my thanks to the people who supported me throughout my schooling journey and assisted me in achieving this award. Thank You to my friends for supporting every decision I made and helping to make the entire HSC year more manageable. To Miss Robinson, for being the best Year coordinator our year could ask for and for providing much needed advice during stressful exam periods. Thank you to my family who despite the difficult times, remained consistently supportive during the HSC and refrained from placing any external pressures, which I believe greatly improved my abilities and stress levels. To all the teachers across the College, your persisted effort and devotion of your time and energy to ensure that every girl achieved their full potential was greatly appreciated. And finally, thank you to my teachers across my entire schooling journey, and in particular my Year 11 and 12 teachers. To Mr Bishop, Ms Field, Mrs Golding, Miss Grimm and Mrs Pikis, my result in the HSC and the ATAR I achieved can be attributed to you and the work you put in to ensure the success of our entire year group, which I will be eternally grateful for.

To the current year 12’s and all those who intend on completing the HSC, remember that your teachers are your greatest resource and to use them to their full potential. Although the HSC requires handwork and endurance, success is well within your reach. When asked to give advice on how to achieve highly in the HSC I struggle to provide a definitive answer as success is highly personal and requires an individual’s understanding of what works best. However, the best advice I can give that I believe will lead you to the path of success is to follow your interests and therefore ensure that you are learning and understanding rather than just merely memorising or having superficial knowledge of the subject area. Crucial for success is hard work and perseverance, however I cannot express the importance of maintaining a good mindset, as I truly believe that this will set you apart from others and heighten your ability to excel in your exams. Throughout high school, Year 12 and exam periods and  exam periods in particular, my ability to control my stress levels by keeping things in perspective and surrounding myself with people that would create a supportive environment was a great contributing factor to my final ATAR and result.

So once again thank you to everyone who contributed to my HSC journey and provided me with the opportunity to be accepting this award today. To the current students of Bethany College, good luck with your future studies and remember that your only task is to do your best. As for the class of 2018, congratulations on last year’s results and I wish you the very best of luck in your future endeavours. Thankyou

Perhaps talk about the whole of your schooling years rather than just focussing on HSC years. You worked really hard for many years! It’s time to acknowledge that!!!”

Jessica Semsarian

2018 School Dux