Year 12 2022: Lessons about oneself

The Class of 2022 look back at the last year of school. SUHAYLA SHARIF and MANAN LUTHRA report

Reading Time: 8 minutes



Ashna Sahi
ATAR 97.60
Subjects English Advanced, English Extension 1, English Extension 2, Maths Advanced, Modern History, Design and Technology and Visual Arts
Results/Special Awards All Rounders Achievers List 2022, Distinguished Achiever 2022
School Kambala

Veer Benepal
ATAR 99.45
Subjects English Advanced, Mathematics Advanced, Economics, Drama, Business Studies, Modern History
Results/Special Awards HSC All-Rounder Achiever List, UNSW Finance & Banking Co-op Scholarship, The University of Sydney Business School Change Maker Scholarship, The King’s School Broughton Scholarship for Exceptional Academic Excellence, HSC Drama OnSTAGE Nomination (x2): Individual Performance, Group Performance, 3rd Place (Bronze Medal) at the National Da Vinci Decathlon, Tiger Global Case Competition: 3rd Place in Oceania, Top 15 worldwide out of 1200 teams.
School The King’s School

Arushi Senchaudhuri
ATAR 99.85
Subjects Chemistry, Maths Methods, Further Maths, Specialist Maths, Physics, English Language
Results/Special Awards, Future STEM Innovators Award by the Australian Defence Force, The Practical Science Award, Chemistry Dux, School Dux
School The Mac.Robertson Girls High School

Prabhas Grandhi
ATAR 99.35
Subjects English, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Results/Special Awards Academic Excellence Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022, Academic Excellence in Physics and Mathematical Methods.
School Suzanne Cory High School

Rohan Keshava
ATAR 99.95
Subjects Latin Continuers, Latin Extension, French Continuers, Maths Ex 2, Maths Ex 1, English Advanced, Chemistry
School Sydney Grammar School

Ananya Vasudeva
ATAR 94.7
Subjects english advanced, maths standard 2, pdhpe, economics,biology
Results/Special Awards Macquarie leaders and achievers award, Band 6 in Maths and PDHPE, High band 5s in English Economics and Biology
School Cheltenham Girls High School

Jai Kimatrai
ATAR 99.6
Subjects Physics, Chemistry, Maths extension 1, Maths extension 2, English advanced, Classical Greek continuers
Results/Special Awards 5th in state in Classical Greek Continuers
School Sydney Grammar School

Manas Gupta
ATAR 99.50
Subjects Mathematics Extension 2, Mathematics Extension 1, English Extension 1, English Advanced, Physics, Chemistry, Economics
Results/Special Awards NSW All Round Achiever, NSW Distinguished Achiever, General Merit Prize (Top 10 in cohort), Australian Economics Olympiad Honourable Mention (National Level), Half Colours Chess
School Sydney Grammar School

Dheeraj Thadani
Subjects English Advanced, Maths Advanced, Business Studies, Economics & PDHPE
Results/Special Awards Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award, City of Ryde Excellence Award, Anthony Roberts MP Student Leadership Award, Bennelong Award, Preliminary State Finalist Public Speaking
School Ryde Secondary College

With Year 12 now done and dusted, you’ve probably had the opportunity to look back at it all. What did you learn about yourself?

Ashna Sahi: I learnt a lot about my capacity to remain resilient during demanding times and stay focused rather than giving up. I learnt about how important it is to keep motivated by setting myself a goal that I could work towards all throughout the year, which offered me a reason to study harder and learn from my mistakes. Year 12 solidified the strengths and interests I have developed and now I hope to continue to pursue them within my future studies.

Veer Benepal: I learnt the importance of perseverance to succeed in achieving your goals. Applying to the USA for College whilst juggling the HSC, I quickly realised the inevitable feeling of pressure when striving for all-round success in academics, leadership and extra-curricular activities. Nonetheless, I learnt that if you are determined in the pursuit of your goals and resilient when challenges arise, coupled with strong planning, prioritisation and execution, you can achieve what you hope for.

Arushi Senchaudhuri: Year 12 was truly eye-opening for me as I began to really understand who I am as an individual. I learnt how much I value resilience and always strive to do my best in every situation. I realised that I am a very emotional person having had more than a few meltdowns in the past year, however I also discovered that I bounce back just as quickly from certain low moments to keep pushing through.

Prabhas Grandhi: Year 12 taught me that simple organisation of my time was all I needed to stop procrastination. By simply setting up a calendar and holding myself accountable to reach my own deadlines, I felt a lot more control over my own time and learnt that I could be the determined person I wanted to be if I simply planned things in advance.

Rohan Keshava: I got to learn the extent to which people can succeed if they are motivated to be industrious and to put in the necessary effort, whether in sport, music, chess, debating, academics etc. I got to see this both from my own experiences and by watching the inspirational journeys my friends went on as they capitalised on their unique final-year experiences.

Jai Kimatrai: As someone with a room that perpetually looks like a nuclear warzone, I realised that under stress, I really do care about “getting organised.” I would plan my day in my head and set my own imaginary due dates for homework to prevent procrastination. I had never done this before. Ultimately, I still prefer doing things at the impulse, but at least I experienced the other end of the spectrum.

Ananya Vasudeva: I learned that I’m very quick to doubt myself and my ability, but honestly, found that just giving 100% to whatever it is you are doing is always going to help you.

Manas Gupta: I learnt that I was able to remain calm under pressure and in fact work better in the tightest of circumstances. While this may be a redeemable quality, I was happier to notice that I regularly revised my course content and worked hard throughout the year, rather than leaving everything to the last minute.

Dheeraj Thadani: I learnt resilience in all its forms. Year 12 started with the loss of my hero and confidant, a man who loved me more than life itself, my Nana. In the same week I was elected school captain. I perhaps didn’t have the chance to grieve as I was faced with the challenge of leading a student body returning to the classroom after extensive lockdowns. I realised the importance of balance and managing my time effectively to fit in some time for myself to de-stress. I also learned that a good leader delegates when necessary, and while being a perfectionist is my modus operandi I learnt that there are some things I can let go of and it will be alright.

What moments from 2022 do you remember most fondly?

Ashna: I remember our year cohort becoming closer each time of exams, specifically our final external exams. Rather than being competitive we took it upon ourselves to work together to get through a very challenging time which largely attests to my cohort’s successful results. Graduation was a time we were able to celebrate the many years and memories we all had together. I also most fondly look upon the time of completing my English Extension 2 Major Work podcast that explored my experiences as an Indian Australian woman, by drawing upon epics such as The Mahabharata.

Veer: Leading over 150 student cadets as Commander of Alpha Company in The King’s School Cadet Corps through the Annual Ceremonial Parade represented a culminating moment of the several fond years I spent as a young army cadet, trekking up mountains or charging through the mud obstacle course. Another highlight was a full-school debate I organised as The King’s School Debating captain – it was truly exhilarating seeing a huge crowd tune into a debate and deliver war cries as loud as they would in a sporting stadium, to support my teammates and I in our school’s 1sts team.

Arushi: The best moments would definitely be the ones that I shared with my family and friends. And it wasn’t even the grand scale events like formal and valedictory (although these were absolutely amazing and so much fun). It was the little moments where my friends and I would chat away during free periods and laugh at the silliest things every time we met up. It was the little things my family did to keep me motivated – like literally dragging me out to the beach the day before exams started.

Prabhas: By far the most fun I had was during Physics classes. The class was very hands-on with experiments and most of my classmates were good friends – a perfect recipe for disaster!

Rohan: Year 12 brought many novel opportunities. I particularly enjoyed the chances I got within the music department to take up leadership roles, such as being the soloist of a piano concerto with the school orchestra, and being able to give back to the school by serving as music captain.

Jai: I was genuinely shocked at how creative my year group was on our last mufti day. All on the same day, I saw yellow minions, sultans, prisoners, Walter White, Julius Caesar and even a Minecraft “steve” with a speaker attached to his head playing the soundtrack. It was comforting to know that brutal study actually hadn’t vaporised our brains.

Ananya: All the sports carnivals (last ones ever!!), getting my trials marks back and being shocked, happy, disappointed – an emotional smoothie. Formal and graduation, of course – seeing everyone all dressed up and just genuinely letting the moment sink in ending the year on such a good note.

Manas: I will cherish Leavers Assembly forever! Our last day of school had an indelible atmosphere that simply cannot be put into words. The final moments where the entire cohort rejoiced in a 200-strong huddle, singing our school song and chanting the school’s motto was a powerful display of camaraderie, and was simultaneously emotional and breath-taking!

Dheeraj: My role as school captain allowed me to help ignite a sense of belonging and friendship, making a positive difference to the lives of other young people. Every aspect of my captaincy role brought me joy and satisfaction. I felt I made a lasting impact to my College by helping to inspire future student leaders. The other moments which stand out include meeting Members of Parliament and Premier Perrottet in my role as school captain, as well as attending official engagements to represent my school.  Receiving an early entry offer to my preferred degree from 3 Universities under their Leaders and Achievers Program was another highlight.


What is one change you’d make to your state’s ATAR system?

Ashna: The ranking system. In ranking students, appointing them to a number based on their academic results, the ATAR system simply fails to account for the numerous other qualities, values, and successes of a student. Rather it deems them to a number that only enhances competition between peers and doesn’t celebrate the many other talents of a student.

Veer: Accompanying the ATAR with a self-submitted resume, would provide a better assessment of our schooling. It will ensure a more well-rounded university admission selection process. This will incentivise students to explore and further their passions, inevitably making school more enjoyable and fascinating.

Arushi: Put less weight on that one exam at the end, and value the hard work students put in throughout the year more.

Prabhas: School Assessed Coursework (SACs) at all schools should be changed to standardised tests made and marked by VCAA so that everyone is assessed fairly.

Rohan: NESA has continued to amend the ATAR system, and I hope that they continue striving to perfect a just and equitable ranking system.

Jai: UAC should openly clarify the calculation process. I don’t know anyone who truly understands how it all works. They say the exams are scaled according to difficulty, but they don’t seem to say what that really means. Students should be able to easily understand something that decides their next few years.

Ananya: Honestly speaking, I loved how your ATAR/HSC mark is made up of 50% school marks and 50% from the actual exam because this allows students to pace themselves throughout the year rather than having a complete meltdown at the end due to high stakes.

Manas: Put greater emphasis on academic enrichment and research-based courses to nurture the curiosity that comes with learning a subject.

Dheeraj: The scaling system is unnecessarily convoluted.

Read More: What drives Dr. Chennupati Jagadish

Suhayla Sharif
Suhayla Sharif
An emerging yet empowered voice committed to celebrating Australia's kaleidoscope of perspectives through spirited storytelling.

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