Class of 2019 – Stella Liu
Stella is planning to study commerce or engineering at Monash University.
“If I can get into commerce and engineering double degree at Monash University, I will graduate after five years. I’ll be either looking for jobs in Melbourne or go back to China to find more opportunities.”
As an international student starting in 2016, Stella has learned so much through her journey at St Catherine’s appreciating every opportunity and challenge as they have “made me who I am today”. She enjoyed her time as a boarder at Illawarra, as the experience allowed her to become more independent but also “enabled me to build a special bond with other girls who are from different year levels and countries.”
When Stella started, “I was this shy girl who was afraid of speaking English because of the fear of making mistakes. In these four years, teachers and friends constantly encourage me to participate as in many activities as I can. It was hard in the beginning, but I managed to overcome the language barrier and stepped out of my comfort zone. I have learned that you would never know how much potential, confidence, and courage you hold until you push yourself and step out of the comfort.” These have been important life lessons.
Stella’s highlights at St Catherine’s included participating in school activities including drama production, music ensembles and sports, which “I take away so many valuable memories. One of the highlights is when I performed ‘mission impossible’ with percussion ensemble in Year 10 at the gala concert. I practiced so hard for my drum solo. I was so nervous because it was really easy to mess up. However, we all did well, and I feel satisfied and delighted to hear the applause from the audience.”
The teachers at St Catherine’s have been supportive, kind and patient. “I feel so privileged. They explain questions that I don’t understand again and again until I get it and able to do similar questions. Their patience provides me with the courage to ask questions and gives me confidence that I can tackle all the difficulties in learning. Also, their passion for the subject they teach always inspire me to find an interest and love it. At first, my goal was just to get a brilliant ATAR but after interacting with these inspiring teachers, my goal was not just to be able to do all the questions but to enjoy doing them.”
For future Year 12 students, Stella encourages them to participate in many activities “because it is your last year in high school.”
For the Class of 2020, Stella provides the following advice “Enjoy Year 12! Your ATAR doesn’t define you but these memories will be within you forever. I understand that sometimes it is a bit hard to balance co-curriculum and academics, but I think it pushes you to be more disciplined, you will be less likely to waste time, and procrastination is unlikely to be a problem. It is stressful but short at the same time. It will finish before you realise so please enjoy every minute of it.”