Abigail is a Year 12 student whose philosophy—try to find the positive in everything—has had a powerful influence on her capacity to manage both small and serious issues.

“It’s like a process of clearing your mind and asking: how can I turn this around?” she says.

It may have been a lot of effort to get this far, and to feel optimistic about her future plans to complete a TAFE Companion Animal Services course so she can become an Assistance Dog handler or Customs & Border Protection Dog handler, but her motto has been well-embedded through life experiences.

“I was bullied really badly in one of my previous schools and, because my Dad is in the army and we have moved quite a lot, I have not had those long-term friends that can make such a difference,” she says.

“Now, at BSSC, I have a friend in every class, the teachers are great and the Wellbeing Team have really helped me to find my way around—it’s great just to know they are always there.

“I still get angry about people who will not accept others for who they are. Schools try to teach this—teach us how important it is to accept others. Emma Watson is so incredible in the way she addresses issues like this.”

In the light of these experiences, when asked what she would advise her 12-year-old self she says, “Take life as it comes. It’s a roller-coaster and you have to accept the hits and fight back, but not react. Fight back by standing up for what is right. And NEVER change yourself for any other person.”

But Abigail has no complaints about BSSC.

“I really like the feeling of the college community. I love the variety of people and activities on offer. The teachers are great.”

Year 12 is always going to be demanding but Abigail enjoys cycling—even in the rain! And she was a gym boxer until an unfortunate encounter where her wrist was hyperextended.

“Even in this situation, my teachers all helped me to complete my work and get to rehab appointments. They set me up with a voice-sensitive computer program so I didn’t have to type.”