BSSC Year 12 student, Sadie May, has a saying she tries to live by: ‘Be your own leader’.
“It’s about having an open mind,” she says. “Not just accepting everything you’re told, or doing what everyone else is doing, or what they think you should. It’s about being truly yourself.”
Coming to BSSC has allowed Sadie not only to continue being herself, but to explore her pathway to the future. At present she is considering a career as a flight attendant and will do a Work Placement at Bendigo Airport to help her decide if this really is where she wants to be.
“After Year 12, if I don’t go down that path, I’ll keep working so I’m building my skills—maybe I’ll even take off overseas with some friends?”
Sadie’s Year 7 – 10 college, East Loddon, is smaller than many of the colleges BSSC students come from. However, she enjoyed the close community and the opportunity to play sport on the weekends with her school friends.
“I was excited, but nervous, about coming to BSSC. But one of the things I was really looking forward to was reconnecting with friends from Primary School.
“On the first day here there were three of us from East Loddon who kind of clumped together, but then we drifted off in different directions. I was invited by students I knew from weekend sport to sit with them and—well, the rest is history. I have a great bunch of friends here.”
Sadie says BSSC is different in a number of ways to her previous school.
“There are lots of things I like about it, but I’d love to see more drinking taps and chairs and tables in sheltered areas of the college.
“Funnily enough the lack of uniforms is not something I like about BSSC. It’s a pain having to choose what to wear every day and I think I’ve spent more money on clothes that I might have done otherwise.”
At BSSC, Sadie has elected to do a VCAL course. She studies English, Maths, Personal Development and Work Related Skills as well as the VET subject Community Services.
“One of the things I’ve realised is how important it is to have a positive relationship with your teachers,” she says. “My teachers are so supportive and encouraging, but I have a particularly great connection with my English teacher, Isobel Houghton.
“I love reading but I’m not so good at creative writing so I thought I was going to hate English,” Sadie admits. “However, Isobel makes the classes both interesting and fun while still keeping us on track—and she gets us thinking by using intriguing videos and texts.
“Isobel has also set up a ‘student of the week’ which gives us something extra to work towards. I now love this subject!”
When she’s not at BSSC, Sadie has a varied and busy life. She loves spending time with family and friends—adores her dog—and is interested in art (especially watercolours). To relax, she likes to draw and listen to music… she’s a keen 80s rock fan.
Sadie also has a part-time job at Dominos Pizzas and is saving hard to buy her own car.
Sport continues to be important and Sadie is about to take up volleyball as well as continuing netball with the Strathfieldsaye Jets.
But Sadie also makes time for others. She volunteers with Headspace and is a Youth Reference Group Official, a role she greatly enjoys.
“We do promotions advertising Headspace’s various services at places and events such as La Trobe University Open Day, Footy matches and Bendigo’s Easter Parade,” Sadie says. “We also make packs for homeless people and do fund-raisers.
“The experience has made me so much more aware of how fortunate I am and how much some people struggle.
“I truly believe everyone is a person worth respecting. Everyone deserves to be seen and treated well—regardless of their economic situation, their race or colour, their religion or gender.”
Sadie cannot stand injustices. The recent hardening of abortion laws in some US states are, she says, “is only stopping safe abortions.”
She has also observed the consequences of false accusations that can lead to innocent people having to answer serious allegations—for no reason.
“I would also say, don’t ever take anything for granted. I learnt this the hard way after my parents broke up. I see them both a lot now, but there was a time that I really missed my dad.”
When asked what advice she would offer her 12 year-old self, Sadie laughs.
“The decision to dye the ends of my hair bright neon green was definitely a bad choice. For a while there, my brother called me ‘Shrek’. I still don’t know how I convinced my mum to let me do it.”