Year 12 student, Tait Poyser, says ‘variety’ is the word that best describes Senior.

“Whatever your interests or subject choices there’s something at BSSC to cater for you,” he says.

“There are also so many extra-curricular opportunities that allow you to develop more broadly as a person. I have definitely flourished both academically and socially at BSSC. I love being able to meet people from so many different backgrounds and expand my horizons.”

What Tait has come to really appreciate about BSSC is the opportunity for independence and taking responsibility for his own learning.

“BSSC has more of a uni feel, which has worked really well for me,” he says.

This year Tait is studying English, Maths, Chemistry and VET Music. He completed Units 3/4 Biology in Year 11—very handy for someone planning a career in medicine.

Tait also attended the National Youth Science Forum this year and found it a fantastic experience.

“I think the highlight was meeting Peter Doherty,” he says. “Dr Doherty really is the whole package; so down to earth. He made us feel we could ask him anything at all.

“The Doherty Institute is remarkable and it was really interesting hearing how they manage infective agents—such as ebola—in the lab.”

However, if Tait could speak with anyone in the world it would be Tom York, lead singer of Radiohead.

“He’s such an experienced and brilliant musician,” Tait says. “I’d ask him what got him into music and what he enjoys most. He’s apparently very introverted but on stage you would never know.”

The music part of Tait’s course gives him a creative outlet that, he believes, balances his other subjects.

“Music and English are probably my favourite subjects,” he says. “Ash Bird does so much for the music students and often helps out with gigs out of school hours. I really appreciate all he does for us.”

Tait’s ‘hot study tip’ is to take maximum advantage of study periods.

“They’re easy to take for granted,” he says, “but if you use them well they can really help you keep on top of your work.

“Also, don’t push relentlessly. I do take VCE seriously and I work hard, but I also take lots of regular breaks.”

Tait’s practice is to do around 30 to 40 minutes and then have a 5 to 10 minute break during which he might play his guitar, listen to some music or catch up on the footy score.

“I’ll listen to music while I’m doing maths or chemistry homework,” he says, “but never English.”

While many students find VCE a stressful year, Tait says he’s been less likely to get stressed this year than previous years.

“I’ve realised that whatever happens at the end of the year I will still find a way to do what I want to,” he says.

He’s already applied for Medicine and Biomedicine at a number of universities and says he was first drawn to being a doctor when he was in Year 10.

“It’s just looks so interesting,” he says. “There are so many breakthroughs and technical advances being made regularly, and I love the idea of having a career that helps other people.”

When Tait is not at school he’s possibly at footy training, or playing a game as half-back for South Bendigo. He’s been playing AFL for eight years.

Music is also a major aspect of Tait’s life. He learnt guitar for a while and had singing lessons while in Year 10.

“I enjoy acoustic guitar best, but also play electric and bass,” he says. “I love writing my own material—mostly alternative rock. I think my music has a bit of a Radiohead feel to it.

“My mates and I have formed a band here at BSSC and called ourselves ‘Pasquito’. It’s been great fun.”

Tait has played numerous local gigs including in the Bendigo mall, at art exhibitions and, of course, our very own open mic at BSSC.

He also loves playing pieces his Mum loves and using music to give other people joy.

“I would describe my Mum as a great friend,” Tait says. “She’s non-judgemental and we can talk about anything. Being able to play the music she loves is one way of paying her back for all she’s done for me.”

In the light of this, it was no surprise to hear Tait say the part of his life for which he was most grateful is his family.

“They—and my mates—are so supportive,” he says. “I know I’ve had a fortunate life and I’m very grateful for that too.

“If I could go back and give my younger self some advice, I would say, ‘Don’t stress. Take life as it comes and enjoy it—don’t care what other people think’.”