As Year 12 student, Matt Sexton, reflects back on his time at BSSC, he believes the college has helped him develop the independence he will need beyond school.
“I really like the way things are structured to encourage us—and support us—to take responsibility for our learning,” he says. “It’s great preparation for the real world.”
Making the shift from Creek Street Christian College, Matt recalls feeling daunted by the size of BSSC.
“It did take a little while to find my way around,” he remembers, “but once I adjusted, I found the college very welcoming and a great environment for making new connections.”
Matt says he would “absolutely” recommend BSSC and has enjoyed the subjects he’s chosen—Maths Methods, Extension Maths, Physics, Chemistry and English Language.
Asked about a hot study tip, Matt has found doing as many practice questions as possible has been great preparation for exams and SACs.
Despite his clarity around study methods that work for him, Covid lockdowns turned out to be much more difficult than Matt expected.
“At the start of the first lockdown I thought it might be a bit of fun to have a couple of weeks off,” he recalls, “but when it dragged on—and then we had the second and third lockdown—it got really hard.
“There were so many distractions for me at home—especially my phone—and I was just stuck in my room which wasn’t my ideal study space. It was so de-motivating.”
Despite the disruptions of the last couple of years, 2022 has also brought its own challenges simply because Year 12 is a tough year.
“I’m really proud of my commitment to school,” Matt says. “Staying on course when things got overwhelming and finding ways to stay engaged through Covid.”
Matt is also deeply grateful for the significant supports he’s had in his life—his faith, family and friends and a wider community that has his back.
One significant person is Craig, his Maths and Chemistry teacher, who he describes as fantastic.
If any proof was needed of Matt’s commitment and passion for maths, his admission that he chose to study English Language because it’s the “closest humanities to maths” leaves no doubt.
When asked who he’d be curious to have a conversation with if he could choose anyone in the world, Matt doesn’t name an obscure mathematics genius, instead, he names Donald Trump.
“I’d like to get a deeper understanding of him,” Matt explains. “It’s hard to believe he’s all bad and I think he did do a few good things as well as things he’s criticised for.”
Matt is planning to take a Gap year in 2023 to save some money and take a break before he launches into tertiary studies.
Music has long been part of Matt’s life. Initially interested in piano and drums when he was younger, his preference is now guitar—although he gave up acoustic guitar to concentrate on VCE.
“Next year I’d like to learn electric guitar and I’d also like to save up and buy a really good quality acoustic guitar,” Matt says.
He presently works as a footy boundary umpire which keeps him fit and gives him a little cash. He also hopes to pick up some weekday work once he finishes school.
Matt’s career pathway has crystallised during his time at BSSC and his two uni preferences are inspired by his love of mathematics.
One is Engineering at La Trobe Bendigo, the other, Actuarial Science, offered at Monash or Melbourne Universities.
Actuarial science applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, pension, finance, investment and other industries and professions. Actuaries apply rigorous mathematics to model matters of uncertainty.
“I just love maths, science and statistics,” Matt says, “and I’m a very logical person, so either Engineering or Actuarial Science are perfect for me.”
Reflecting back over his secondary schooling, Matt sees that alongside his natural gift for mathematics he has always been someone who pushes himself really hard.
He sees the positives in this but acknowledges the need for balance.
If he could go back in time and offer some advice to his 12-year-old self, he tell him not to be so hard on himself.
“Don’t take everything so seriously—it’s not necessary,” he’d say. “You can do well and still have some fun too.”