The Journey Ahead – ‘Class of 2021’

Congratulations to Alex and Aaron Xue ‘Class of 2021’ who will be commencing a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine, together, at the University of Newcastle.

With University classes commencing this week, we sat down with some of the Class of 2021 students to discuss their VCE experience and plans for the future.

Tell us about yourself?
We are international students from Shanghai, China. When we were in Year 9, our family moved to Melbourne and we began our studies at Mentone Grammar. Of course, it was challenging at first to navigate a new country and to speak a second language, but we have received a lot of support during our years at this School.

As twin brothers, we have a very close relationship and we have encouraged each other throughout our schooling, and especially in our last year.

What are your plans for the future?
We both have the same goal to pursue a medical career, ideally as a Surgeon or General Practitioner. As twins, we have a very close relationship, so we are thrilled to be studying a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine, together, at the University of Newcastle. Becoming a doctor has always been our dream career, so we look forward to working in Hospitals and saving lives. We hope to explore the frontier of medicine and find cures for diseases.

How would you describe your VCE experience?
At first, it was nerve-wracking entering our VCE years as international students, and we wondered whether this was a disadvantage. However, we had a lot of support from our teachers who taught us about facing our fears head-on, and believing that you can succeed. We learned that you don’t need to be scared of failure or question whether you “can do it”; you just need to constantly challenge yourself, and strive for your personal best.

Throughout Year 12, we definitely had some healthy competition between one another, because we were experiencing the same classes and exams. But ultimately, we were each other’s best support. Year 12 is all about using your resources wisely. Look to your teachers and peers for guidance. Ask lots of questions, listen, and be willing to learn from others. We set up lots of study sessions with our friends, online and in-person, and were constantly sharing our ideas in order to grow.

How has your journey at Mentone Grammar enabled you to get into your chosen pathway?
Mentone Grammar provided us with a lot of support, both academically and emotionally, which helped us fulfil our dreams. We are extremely grateful for the sessions with the Careers Counselor Sue Carey, and the ‘high-achieving student sessions’ with Mark Smith. Both of these mentors continued to motivate us and encouraged us to reach our full potential. We are also thankful for our friends who are there for us when we meet obstacles. Our House Coordinator Sally Smith’s kindness and daily greetings inspired us to be optimistic. We could not have achieved our goals without Mentone Grammar.

What strategies worked best for you?
We believe that in order to succeed during Year 12, it is crucial to have great time management skills, continuous goal setting, and peer support. In preparation for your final year of school, it is great to experiment with different study techniques to understand what works best for you. It will be different for everyone.

How did you maintain a balance throughout COVID-19 and VCE?
Balance is everything. We made sure to stay on top of our assignments and studies so that we could also pursue our hobbies. We played a lot of basketball, tennis and went swimming.

Do you have any advice for future VCE students?
No matter how hard you think it is to achieve your goals, never give up. Challenge yourself every day, and you will see progress. Sometimes life can throw curveballs, like a global pandemic, but with the right mindset, you can still reach your target.

What are you most looking forward to this year (2022)?
We are looking forward to University life, such as joining student clubs and creating new friendships. Additionally, we are very excited to start the next chapter of our schooling and begin tailoring our knowledge for a career in medicine.


Author: Steph Kinnear