Class of 2019 – Sophie Turnbull

With an interest in the areas of bioethics and political science, Sophie is planning to undertake a double degree in either Arts and Science, or Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Sophie hopes to undertake her studies at either The Australian National University in Canberra or Monash University. “I feel that both of these universities offer flexible double degrees and seem to have a good community atmosphere.”

In five years’ time she hopes to have finished her chosen degree and be working overseas. “I am interested in moving to London, either during my degree (as an exchange student) or once I have completed it to find a job.”

There have been many highlights during her time at St Catherine’s. “One of the most rewarding things I have done would be the Overland Track in Tasmania. Though physically very demanding, the group of girls and teachers were incredible and made the trip memorable.” Another standout was debating. Although emotionally and academically challenging it was also incredibly rewarding.  “The group of girls I debated with this year and our coach (Jaquelin Cantarella) were so much fun, making debates about economic sanctions, government policy and the Artificial Intelligence way more exciting than they should be.”

With many life lessons learnt from her time at St Catherine’s, this year Sophie “made more of an effort to listen to people. I think I have learnt the value of genuinely listening to others.  Often when we are stressed and talk to people we only listen to half of the conversation. However, this year I listened to people when they explained their tiredness, deadlines, workload and issues, as there is significant value in doing so.”

Sophie has high praise for her teachers. They “have always been incredibly invested in my learning over the years. They are always willing to meet out of class, with some even tracking me down if I have been hiding, overwhelmed from a particular subject. Their combined enthusiasm and assurance in my capacity to achieve has given me the confidence to do just this, which I am beyond grateful for.”

For the Class of 2020, Sophie offers the following two pieces of advice. “I think it is important to remember that there is no right way to do Year 12. It is common to hear how previously successful students studied, but ultimately what works for someone else may not work for you. This was something I held onto throughout the year and I had to remind myself that I was doing the best I could at that given time – which is all that you can do. Another thing I would say is choose your subjects according to your interests and strengths. Year 12 is a hard year, but it can be made more enjoyable and rewarding if you are invested and engaged in your course rather than struggling through subjects you find dull or excessively difficult. VCE generally rewards those students who love what they do.”

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