Year 12 student, Nathan Gordon, hopes his next step beyond BSSC will be studying a double degree in Law and Business at La Trobe University Bendigo.

He’s aiming for a career in business, or corporate law, and keen to live and work regionally or rurally.

Nathan first became fascinated by the idea of studying law during Years 7 and 8 when he took an interest in politics.

“I chose a Legal Studies elective in Year 9 and really enjoyed it,” he says. “Since then I’ve remained interested in the Humanities but especially the legal side of things.”

The caveat for Nathan is that he is driven by a desire to contribute positively to others.

“Ethics rather than money is a big driver for me,” he says.

He carries concerns about a number of global social and environmental issues, and his attitude reflects this.

“To me, it feels like the world’s going backwards,” he laments. “There’s not enough positive action to address serious problems and far too much short-term thinking based on greed—or whether a party can win the next election.

“The problems look so great, I wonder whether people my age will have any hope of living to 100 years?”

Nathan also looks at our political system and sees too many issues treated as political footballs. He cannot see the will or motivators that could generate more balanced approached to complex issues.

But right now, as the end of Year 12 approaches, it is his VCE studies that are uppermost in his mind.

He’s enjoying his time at BSSC, though he initially found the sheer size of the place and the number of students quite daunting.

Despite being more comfortable in a setting where everyone knows everyone else, he says he thinks of the college as a “meeting place”.

Nathan says BSSC feels like a place that is “guiding us towards adulthood, into success, and the hope of a good life”.

Always a keen student, Nathan enjoys learning, but this has really ramped up over the last four years of his education.

He is really appreciating the way teachers and students interact at BSSC—something he describes as a two-way relationship.

“I feel like I’m being respected and supported by all my teachers,” he says.

However, for Nathan, Naomi Flint exemplifies all that he admires most in a teacher.

“I had Naomi for Year 11 Legal Studies and as my Advisor,” he says. “I fainted in class once, and she really looked after me incredibly well—but all my teachers here are really good.”

When he sits down to do his homework, Nathan likes to use practice questions to prepare for exams and make mind maps which allow him to memorise networks and construct logical answers.

While he admits to a certain level of procrastination, there are other times when he has absolute intense focus and knocks over hours of work in one hit.

“I usually do revision in a rhythm of work and regular breaks,” he says.

Nathan is grateful that his parents have consistently encouraged him to take his education seriously and is aware how fortunate he is to have a stable and supportive network.

“It’s like having something really solid to fall back on and I never take it for granted,” he says.

“Dad always states, ‘If you want this, you’ve got to put in the work’ while Mum has been such a supporter and encourager. It feels like we make a perfect team.”

Nathan is grateful he’s already realised the value and importance of his family He recognises the model he’s grown up with as one worth striving to recreate in the future.

Despite the many positives in his life, 2023 has been a stressful year for Nathan. Luckily he has a brilliant method of de-stressing and re-invigorating himself.

“Tennis is my getaway,” he says. “I put a lot of effort into it. I’m presently doing about four hours a week, but I play more in summer.”

Nathan says his ‘weapon’ in tennis is his serve, and he coaches part-time as well.

If he could go back in time and offer his 12-year-old self some advice, he would tell young Nathan to be more confident in his own ability.

“You will be able to do all the things you want to, and you will be able to face what you’ll have to face,” he’d say. “Above all, trust yourself.”