From the smorgasbord of subjects available to her, Year 12 student, Daisy Perley, made a conscious decision to choose what she loved.
“It might look like I’ve selected random subjects, but I was curious about all of them and over my time at BSSC they’ve become my passion,” she says.
“I think you get better marks if you study what you love.”
Daisy has also enjoyed the extra-curricular opportunities on offer at senior. She says the college has widened her breadth of interests and enhanced her personal development.
“Like the lunchtime music performances and how everyone is welcome to join the Student Leadership Team,” Daisy says.
“Through SLT I’ve learnt so much.”
Moving to BSSC from CMC, Daisy says she took a while to find her tribe.
“Maybe it was partly because I’m introverted,” she says. “There was only one friend from my previous college who came here too.”
Daisy found that in subjects where discussion forms part of the class, interactions built really positive connections between classmates and friendships often formed as a result.
“Once we got to know each other the classes became a community,” she says. “No matter who you are, this school has a place for you.”
Like many introverts, Daisy found the Covid lockdowns ideal for immersing herself in her studies—and her Art folio benefitted immensely.
“Coming back to college after Covid was really huge for me,” she says. “I actually wanted to stay in lockdown because I loved being able to do art, uninterrupted, for hours.”
What about a favourite Year 12 subject?
“For discussion, it’s got to be Philosophy,” she admits, “but for content, it’s Classical Studies.”
Daisy believes she inherited her love of Humanities from both parents. Her mum is a teacher who always encouraged her to read widely and her dad shares her fascination with mythology.
With Greek ancestry—through her dad—Daisy has found the mythology in Classical Studies ties her more firmly to her heritage.
“Dad and I have long conversations about topics such as how ancient myths have been translated into more modern religions,” she says.
The pair share a conviction that religion’s place is to teach the great legends without an expectation of religious affiliation.
“In Philosophy, one thinker I find particularly interesting is Susan Wolf,” Daisy says. “She argues that leading the good life, or finding meaning, is linked to helping the greater good—something Wolf actually doubts is possible in our culture.”
Daisy likes to read more widely than set class texts which gives her wider insights into the opinions of others—often experts in their fields.
While Daisy is a keen reader, she’s also a writer and artist. She completed Units 3-4 Art General in Year 11 and has been playing classical guitar since she was around seven years of age.
Alongside her VCE commitments, she is working on a small sculpture in wood, writing an extended magical realism story and enjoying piano pieces reimagined for guitar.
She’s also discovered a remarkable author she’d love to have a conversation with.
Canadian-born Mary MacLane scandalised her conservative 1901 community with an autobiography Wikipedia has described as, ‘raw, honest, unflinching, self-aware, sensual, and extreme’.
“She was so self-absorbed,” says Daisy. “I’d love to hear her talk about herself.”
In contrast to such self-absorption, and alongside her other interests, Daisy makes time to foster a love of stories in her two younger sisters who relish the times they read together.
Daisy’s final VCE subject is Theatre Studies—chosen because she’s fascinated with the design and theory elements of theatre.
While she finds the performance aspect nerve-wracking and admits group work has never been one of her strengths, the subject has pushed her out of her comfort zone in a positive way.
As has her decision to join SLT—and to really push those boundaries by accepting the role of leading SLT’s Wellbeing Committee.
She plans to pursue tertiary studies in the Humanities—so Classical Studies, Philosophy and English Literature are all great preparation.
Still to settle on a specific course, Daisy presently has Art History and Curation top of her list.
“Whatever I do, I expect I will always be interested in Philosophy,” she says. “Maybe one day I’ll study the intersection between religion and philosophy.”
If she could go back and give her 12 year-old self some advice it would be to grab more of the opportunities that came her way.
“I missed a lot of good stuff trying to be cool, or trying to be something I thought someone else wanted me to be,” she rues. “I think I would’ve really benefitted from taking more of those opportunities.”
Daisy also describes being almost crippled by anxiety at times.
“One of the disturbing things about anxiety is that it seems to come from the unknown,” she says. “I’m learning to observe my anxious thoughts rather than immediately engage with them.”
Reflecting on her life she expresses an immense gratitude for the ongoing support she has from family, friends and teachers.
“I’ve met so many wonderful people at BSSC and feel proud to have stepped up in the way I have,” Daisy says.