BSSC Year 12 student, Adler Pickering, remembers being daunted by the size of the college.

“However, I also quickly realised how small it is too. You only go to a few classrooms and essential services are central and connected—like Wellbeing, Student Services and Administration.”

These days he sees senior as being both humble and proud.

“The college is clearly proud—and should be—of all it has to offer, yet there’s this relaxed, good vibe around the place.

“It’s unpretentious and I felt like I belonged here very quickly and I still manage to say ‘hello’ every day to someone I’ve never met before.”

Adler took six subjects in Year 11 to ensure a lighter, less stressful load in Year 12.

Economics with Prue is his favourite class this year, but Ancient History, with Hamish, remains his favourite subject.

“Ancient History is perfect for me because I love to figure out how the world came to be as it is. How we got to where we are amazes me.”

It is therefore not surprising to hear Adler name the ancient Babylonian, King Hammurabi, as someone he would love to speak with.

“Hammurabi reigned for around 45 years and is famous for his code of conduct—the Code of Hammurabi—which he had inscribed on human-sized stone pillars and erected in the cities and towns across his empire.

“I’d love to ask him how he decided a code of conduct could make a difference to the way his empire was administered.”

An interest in history means Adler is also impressed by BSSC’s commitment to preserving the college’s own heritage.

“I love those history plaques on the wall of D-Block and I’m pleased G-Block is being renovated to preserve its heritage and create contemporary classrooms.”

If Adler could travel back across his own history, to speak with his younger self, he says he wouldn’t give himself much direct advice.

“I believe everything happens for a reason and every experience is a learning opportunity. I wouldn’t be the person I am without what’s happened to me over the last six years.”

Despite his fascination with history, and life itself, Adler says he is a bit of a procrastinator.

“I think people procrastinate because they believe it will somehow be easier to get things done with the pressure of a deadline—but that’s just not true for me.”

His ‘hot study tip’ is to know what needs to be prioritized and what can be left for later—and get on with the important things.

He also writes down—last thing at night—material he needs to remember, identifying a key word that will trigger his memory of most of that material.

“Then I go to sleep and somehow it gets locked in while I sleep.”

With the lighter load of four subject this year, he sees the extra spaces on his timetable as a valuable opportunity to get involved in extra-curricular activities such as the Student Leadership Team.

“I didn’t join last year because I was so full-on with my schoolwork,” he says. “But I came to BSSC with leadership skills from my time at BSE where I was School Captain in Year 10.

“I’d love to see the SLT put on another fantastic Formal and I think we need to run lots of sausage sizzles in the Plaza—things that brings us together—like the petting zoo and the visit by Polly Filla.”

Beyond the college Adler is into gaming. He also loves accessing and listening to TED Talks and uses Youtube to gather information about topics that interest him.

He’s also a keen movie buff. His favourite film is ‘Saving Private Ryan’—a violent movie showing the gritty details of war, but aiming to send a strong anti-war message.

As well as these interests, Adler has a very unusual part-time job: he does between 3 and 10 hours per week as a Junior Associate for Y-Lab.

Y-Lab is an online service working with companies and organisations wanting to access the youth voice/opinion.

“An organisation may have a service they want to tailor for adolescents, or want to know why their product is not being picked up by young people.

“Last year we researched an alternative to the ATAR and talked with many students and schools.”

Adler discovered Y-Lab in Year 9 when he was an Abassador at La Trobe Tech School and enquired about employment opportunities.

“I was sent this email about Y-Lab,” Adler says. “I thought it was spam and then realised it wasn’t and I had one day to apply for the position.”

Adler is planning a gap year next year but is undecided about a career.

What he does want in future is a job that won’t stop him being really involved in his kid’s lives.

“I come from a big family and love it when we all get together—I feel blessed by all these people in my life.”

Adler says he’s also deeply grateful for the experience of just being alive and has recently begun practicing ‘being in the moment’ as a way of making the most of this life.

“When I eat, I try to eat slowly, savouring every mouthful.

“I’m also very grateful for the way my family and teachers have given me opportunities I would never have thought to go after.”

Asked what he’s proudest of in his life, Adler says it’s the ability to understand that he needs to be growing towards his best self every day.

“I hope I’m a better me today than I was yesterday—and I guess the day I die I hope I’ll be able to say, ‘today I was my best self’.”