Staying in the right head space

​For former VCE student Maryam Ahmed, the key to success in Year 12 is breaking your workload down into manageable bites – and remembering what you’re working towards.

Audio transcript

[Maryam Ahmed] Learning about things like how the brain works and just how people think and how we behave as a result of that is very interesting.

And it’s something that you can apply in all facets of life, I think.

So yeah that’s kind of the main reason why I chose to do psychology and really enjoyed it throughout the two years I did it.

My relationship with my psychology teacher was pretty strong and she got to know me very well and I made it clear that I want to do the best I possibly can in her class and she was very supportive.

She was willing to help me do the best I can, which I really appreciate.

[Sarah Woodhouse - VCE Psychology Teacher, Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School] With Maryam, she’s one of the most amazing students that I have taught.

The thing I admired about her the most was how hard she was willing to work.

And then I thought well you know my role then is to support her as much as I can with that.

And find her as many resources as I can and just support her on that journey of her wanting to do really well.

[Maryam Ahmed] The Premier’s VCE Awards are not just a reflection of our own achievements as students.

A lot of credit goes to our teachers and our family who have supported us through that and I personally really think that this award reflects them, not just me.

[Sarah Woodhouse] I suppose I just don’t see it as a teaching role, it’s a support role.

You’re someone that they can come and talk to and it might not be about the work, it might be about how to study and what the best things they can put in place.

And I suppose be not only a teacher but a friend and someone that they can rely on.

[Maryam Ahmed] So, obviously having finished VCE I am heading into a new chapter in my life, which I’m really excited about.

And whilst it might be a bit nerve-racking on the side as well. I think as long as you’re pursuing your passion then you’re going down the right track.

“I often felt overwhelmed by the amount of work that I constantly needed to get through,” Maryam admits, “but I tried my best to stay organised and work towards my assessments by doing a little bit every day, so that as they approached, I was confident I had covered everything I needed to know.”

And this approach must have worked: Maryam was recently awarded a Premier’s VCE Award for her outstanding academic achievement in VCE Psychology.

Currently enrolled in Law at Monash University, Maryam still draws on the knowledge she gained studying Psychology in Year 12. “I really enjoyed learning about topics that are not only relevant to my everyday life, but in every degree and profession out there,” she said.

“Discussing sleep, stress and mental health gave me a whole new insight into the way our bodies and minds work, and just how important our mental and physical health is.”

Maryam was one of 290 students to be awarded a Premier’s VCE Award for their successful performance in VCE in 2018.