Advice from the A Aggregate Matriculants

BY A Aggregate Matriculants

The vibrant Casey Els, an A Aggregate matriculant with 5 distinctions, shares her story with us:
English HL:84%
Afrikaans FAL: 91%
Life Orientation: 96%
Life Science: 81%
i would like to use this as an opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Riebeek College for  moulding me into the well balanced and mature young lady that I have become.
As I started my new journey at Riebeek, I immediately knew is was an institution that valued individuality and growth. The very first day I walked into Riebeek , as a grade 8 student, I knew what my goal was. I saw the matric prefects walking in their polished court shoes and black skirt. I came home and told my mom that I wanted to wear those shoes. Fast forward 5 years and I realised that those shoes were a lot to fill. Being a Riebeek taught me to be responsible, fair and non-biased. My list of goals only grew from there on; which consisted of gaining my academic colours, becoming Dux, getting 5 distinctions and  maintaining a well balanced cultural life at school. All of which, to my amazement, I achieved.
The girls at Riebeek College are enthusiastic, empathetic and down to earth. Those girls give me hope for my future. I plan to tackle the world head on with the skills I've acquired at Riebeek and as clichéd as it sounds, I want to be the difference. I want to be part of a generation that provides change towards gender equality, world peace and end global warming. My near plans include studying pharmacy at NMU and encouraging feminism
Matric is not a nightmare. Matric can seem daunting, especially hearing past experiences from previous matric learners. I won’t lie it is not a walk in the park, but nothing worth your while ever is. I wanted to use this as a platform to reassure the class of 2020 that they are more than capable of successfully achieving all their goals in matric. Work hard when you must, but also give yourself time to enjoy the journey. Take part in every school activity that you can, you'll make memories that last for a life time. Be enthusiastic and energetic. This is your time so work hard and shine. You have been well prepared for the upcoming year.
Life has taught me that you can't achieve anything on your own. Every single person that I have met, has played a role in helping me reach my goals. I must specifically thank my family, friends and the the Riebeek teachers for the support and guidance. Miss Potgieter, my English teacher, has been a blessing in my life. Miss Pot has guided me to nurture a love for English and her work ethic is one I strive towards daily. I must add that, in addition, Mrs Gerber not only installed a love for History in me but also taught me skills that I will definitely use in the future, from sending my first email to planning large events.
My all time low was during the June Examination period. I vaguely remember my Chemistry exam, as I only got an hour of sleep the previous night. So tip number one, get enough sleep and set up a study schedule. I try and tap into all of the different study methods. This includes making summaries from multiple textbooks all into one book, studying aloud with voice recording, using YouTube videos and songs about the topics are very useful at times; especially when books just seem to much to tackle all at once. Most importantly, asking questions in class, and learning from my exam mistakes by attending school after exams. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Your best will always be enough. Drinking water during exams is calming and will help you focus.
Riebeek is an environment in which so many lasting memories can be created. #SMILEWEEK with all the matric girls bonding was one of my favourite times. Washing the teachers’ cars as an act of kindness, Cultural Inductions and becoming Dux are some of my fondest memories. During this year, there is one quote that has always stayed close to my heart. I see it fitting to end off with this quote: "Life is like riding a bicycle, to stay balanced, you must keep moving."
All the best wishes for Riebeek College and the class of 2019.

Meaghan Botha, attained 7 distinctions, and writes about her recipe for success:
I never thought that I would pass matric with 7 distinctions. When my mom and I saw the results, we were both in shock. I immediately ran into my room to check if my examination number really was 07. I remember telling her, "Mommy, this can't be right, I don't believe it." A good combination of hard work throughout the year and sacrifice resulted in me surpassing my own expectations. None of this would have been possible without my parents and I'll continue to be grateful for their sacrifices. Thank you to all the teachers for helping me through the year, I appreciate all of you. A special thank you goes to Mrs Bean whose enthusiasm and passion for teaching made me discover my favourite subject, Geography. I have decided to follow my interests and will be studying Geosciences at Nelson Mandela University. If I would explain grade 12 to future matriculants, I'd compare it to a roller-coaster. There will be highs and lows. There will be moments when you feel as though you're about to fall flat on your face but the adrenaline rush makes it all worth it or as in this case your results. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the workload but take it easy. Maintain a healthy balance between schoolwork and your social life. You need a well deserved break from time to time. My most important tip would be to get a good night's rest before an exam. Your mind can't think straight if you're tired especially during those 3 hour exams. Trust and believe in yourself, if you put in the effort your hard work will be paid off a hundred times over. 
Rayna Gajjar, an A Aggregate matriculant, tells us about her journey:
Life Orientation:93%
Life Sciences:84%
Physical Science:76%
In my matric year I received 3 distinctions, in life Sciences, LO and history. My future plan is to study occupational therapy. My matric year has taught me that I am the only one who is able to achieve the goals that I set. You may receive help from your parents and teachers, but in the end it is up to yourself to obtain the results you wish for. Thus, the hard work and constant studying will pay off in the end. My advice to the class of 2020 is to just keep pushing yourself because you have the potential in you to do it! The study method that worked for me was going through at least ten past papers before an exam. I would like to thank my teachers for all the extra effort they put into the work they teach and for always going the extra mile, as well as my parent’s for all their unconditional support. A quote that I always kept in mind in my matric year and always will is, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” 
Liyabona Mgushelo shares her matric journey as an A Aggregate matriculant:
"Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone displays their own image ." - anonymous
IsiXhosa Home Language - 88%
English Home Language - 83%
Mathematical Literacy - 87%
Life Orientation - 93% 
History - 86% 
I will be studying Industrial Psychology. My main goal is to obtain that PhD and become Dr Mgushelo and I believe that, with my work ethic and ambition, that will become a reality.
I know that through hard work and dedication, not even the sky is the limit for me. 
My advice for the Class of 2020 is for them to keep their goals and ambitions in mind and to prioritise their education more than anything else because it is the one thing that is guarantees them a bright future, everything else will follow. Utilise the opportunities given to you and never take anything for granted. Do the work you put in now determines how far you will go. Push yourself harder on the days where giving up seems like a solution, because winners never quit and quitters never win. Surround yourself with people who have the same mind-set as you. And don't let anyone tell you that your goals are too big, instead let them be your motivation.
I would like to thank every teacher that has moulded me into the young lady that I am today. Special thanks to: Ms Barnard for teaching me that being different is okay and for putting up with my "special" personality, Mrs Mapoma for always being there, Ma'am, that IsiXhosa distinction is for you. And, last but definitely not least, Mr Weidemann, I thank you for those profound Dr Phil lessons during CAT class as they have truly influenced my perception about life. To my family, thank you for believing in me and my parents for giving me the opportunity to attend such a prestigious school. A special thank you to my best friend for motivating me and being there to wipe away my tears when my matric year felt too overwhelming for me, you are a gem. 
One of the best study methods for me was using mnemonics to help me remember the work and revising new work at home and on the bus on my way home from school. Working through past papers also helped immensely as it gave me a better idea of what to expect in the exams and how to go about answering the questions. 
I had promised myself that I'd be selfish during my matric year and devote myself completely to my books because I knew my results would either open or close the doors of my future.
My special high is spending my second breaks in the computer lab and helping people. My lows include getting mugged at gunpoint and being late for one of my exams as a result, but because of teachers like Mrs Gerber, Mrs Mapoma and Mrs du Plessis who are able to go the extra mile, I was able to write and obtain a distinction in English.
My favourite memories include guessing the exact number of jelly beans in the house competition, cheering for my house in the gala and interhouse hockey #GoElizabeth, and running as fast I could to the tuck shop as soon as we had greeted our register class teacher. 
I shall carry all the Riebeek teachings with me as I venture into the big, bad world, and I will hold dear all the memories I made. I am a living testament of.  "Your attitude determines your altitude."


Zeenat Lukie, Head Girl, shares her journey and advice as an A Aggregate matriculant:
My subjects and results for each subject are as follows:
English Home Language 83%
Afrikaans First Additional Language 88%
Mathematics 75%
Life Orientation 93%
History 92%
Physical Sciences 77%
Life Sciences 83%
I plan to study towards a degree in Biochemistry and hopefully study further to obtain my honours. My goals are to be happy and succeed in whatever I do thereafter. My advice for the class of 2029 is to work hard consistently and “don’t quit before the miracle”. Somewhere along your path you will struggle and you’ll feel like giving up, but remember that you are not alone in your struggle. Seek help and do not neglect your mental health. All that matters is that you do your personal best to achieve your goals. I would like to thank all the teachers who have been a part of my schooling journey, particularly in my matric year. This last year was the most difficult, but with your guidance, motivation and support I was able to succeed and I cannot thank you enough for all your kindness. I would also like to thank my parents for supporting me and teaching me that it’s okay not to be the best, as long as you do your best. Thank you for always trying to alleviate all my stress and pressure. The workload in matric is huge in comparison to the short amount of time. Hence time management is extremely important. Becoming involved in the clubs and activities of the school in earlier years definitely teaches you time management and planning skills which will help you when you reach matric. When preparing for exams I would encourage everyone to work through as many past papers as possible. It allows you to determine whether you understand the work and the different ways in which it could be presented in an exam. There are a few apps which you can download that have past papers with memos and some even have explanations for the memos, so make sure you utilise every resource available. Grade 12 was undoubtedly the biggest challenge, trying to balance all spheres of home and school life. It’s not always easy to maintain a positive mindset, but when you surround yourself with people who try to uplift you rather than contribute to negative energy, it becomes much easier.


Monique Balie, an A Aggregate matriculant, shares her matric journey and gives advice to the Class of 2020:
·       History 88%
·       Life Orientation 94%
·       Life Sciences 80%
·       Afrikaans First Additional Language 85%
·       Accounting 79%
·       Mathematics 65%
·       English Home Language 77%
My future plans include studying towards a degree in BEd in the Intermediate Phase.
My advice to the class of 2020 is to take your time. Don’t rush through your matric year. Set goals for yourself and work continuously towards those goals. Remember that time management is very important. 
I worked through as many past papers as I could find. This helped me to see if I knew my work and gave me insight on how questions were asked. Finding the balance between focusing on my studies and my extra mural involvement was a challenge. However, I do believe that learning how to juggle both has only benefited me.  
Thank you to my teachers who always went the extra mile to ensure that we were completely prepared for our exams. I would also like to thank my family for their support throughout my matric year.  Congratulations to the Class of 2019: may the next chapter be as prosperous as this one was. 

Amy Higgins, an A Aggregrate matriculant, reports on her matric year, her future plans and her work ethic:
My subjects and results for each subject are as follows;
Afrikaans First Additional Language 90%
English Home Language 81%
Mathematics 58%
Life Orientation 94%
Consumer Studies 79%
History 91%
Life Sciences 72%
My future plans are to study towards a degree in Occupational Therapy. My goals are to achieve only the best that I am able and to go above and beyond in whatever I decide to do. My advice for the class of 2029 is to never give up on your dreams, no matter how cliche it may sound. There will be times where you feel that everything is just too hard and that you'll be okay if you "just pass", but those moments are short-lived, whereas the results of your hard work will last a lifetime. Keep pushing forward and you'll thank yourself in the end. I would like to thank each and every teacher who has been a part of my schooling journey, and especially Ms Barnard and Miss Meyers, who have encouraged me to reach my full potential and to only strive for the best. I would also like to thank my parents, as well as my aunt and uncle, for believing in me and for continually giving me the the motivation i needed to keep working hard when i was so close to giving up. I would definitely encourage everyone to work through past papers when studying for any exam. It really helped me in understanding and preparing for every type of question that I would encounter in my final exams. Grade 12 was definitely one of the hardest years to conquer, simply because of the massive workload that needed to be done in such a short amount of time. There are also so many expectations that are placed on your shoulders and it can be extremely heavy to carry at times. I found that surrounding yourself with people who uplift you, and facing every day with a positive mindset definitely makes all the difference in the world and definitely made this difficult year a lot easier to get through. Lean on your friends and family for support when you most need it. I also would like to advise all those entering matric to be gentle on themselves, because most of the pressure faced during your final year is self-inflicted. Don't be worried about the future, because it will take care of itself. Focus on the present and live in the moment, because you'll never get that moment back again. You can do this! Best of luck to the matric class of 2020.


Aarifah Liberty, an A Aggregate matriculant of the Class of 2019, shares her advice, future plans and reflections of 2019:
Afrikaans FAL 84%
English 81%
Mathematics 73%
Life Orientation 92%
History 93%
Life Sciences 78%
Physical Sciences 75%
My future plan is to study engineering. My advice for future matriculants is that practice will not always make perfection, but it does make progress. The study method that worked best for me was going through past papers. Although matric can be daunting, the Class of 2020 should just keep a positive mind-set. They should also surround themselves with people who want the best for them and who are positive. Matric was definitely a year of hard work, but at the end it was worth it. A quote that always puts things in perspective for me is: '' Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.''
Lerise Johnson from the Class of 2019 is an A aggregate achiever and shares her journey with us offering great advice and reflections:
English Home Language 88%
Afrikaans FAL 93%
Life Orientation 95%
History 91%
Life Sciences 90%
I will be studying Biochemistry. One of my goals in life is to do as much studying and research as I possibly can into different ways we can help alleviate the environmental crisis we are currently in the midst of. I'm a huge environmentalist and I think conserving and protecting the environment is very important, which is why I want to do as much as I can to find solutions to the many environmental problems we face, such as the lack of fresh water, and the pollution damaging our planet and killing the wildlife. I can't prevent wars, I can't stop violence, I can't solve world hunger, I can't cure cancer. But one thing I can do to make a difference in the world is help the environment, so that's what I aim to do with my life.
My advice for the class of 2020 is: never underestimate yourself and what you are capable of. But never become so confident in your abilities that you think you don't have to work hard. No matter what, keep working hard and keep pushing yourself to do better, but always take time to relax and enjoy the rewards of your efforts. Balance is key. It took me along time to find a good balance for myself and it's often hard to maintain it, but I keep trying.
My study methods were quite simple. One of the most important things was listening and paying attention in class. Then I would go home and revise new work and when it came to exam time I would write out summaries and just keep reading through the summaries and textbooks until I remembered the work. Practicing past papers was one of my favourite things to do and it helped me tremendously.
The way I set out to conquer grade 12 was no different to how I approached any other year. I didn't want to think too much about it and make it seem like a huge daunting challenge and make myself unnecessarily stressed. Everyone sees things differently, and for some grade 12 can be a lot more stressful than for others. But no matter what, there's always extra pressure to excel in grade 12. But preparation for grade 12 doesn't start in grade 11 or at the beginning of your grade 12 year. It starts at the very beginning of your school years. Grade 12 is the culmination of everything you've done and worked towards throughout your school career. It's up to you to make the best of it and, most importantly, enjoy it.
I would like to thank my parents, family and teachers for always believing in me, being proud of me and always motivating me to do the best I can. A special thanks to my grandmother in Heaven, who started teaching me to read and write when I was 3 years old. That was where my great passion for reading and writing started, and I believe that if it weren't for that, I would not be the same person I am today, nor would I have achieved what I have in life.
One of my favourite motivational quotes is from a song I heard in a movie and it goes: "You have to get a little lost on your way to being found." Life is one big journey towards self discovery and contentment, and sometimes you can't truly appreciate happiness without knowing sadness. This quote also reminds me that although there are bad times and challenges, they are there for you to learn from and to shape you into a stronger person. So welcome the challenges and adversity and always strive to overcome them.
I have so many wonderful memories from my school years and it's difficult to choose a few that really stand out. But my most recent memory is probably one of my favourites : going to get our matric results. It was so nice seeing everyone so relieved and happy and there was just such a wonderful atmosphere. That really made me think about the fact that I might never see some of my classmates ever again in our lives, and I'm glad that was my final memory of my whole matric class together. Class of 2019, thanks for the wild ride and all the ups and downs. Now let's go change the world.
Tamia Smith attained 4 distinctions and an A Aggregate and shares her journey with us:
"Don't quit before the miracle" - Desmond Tutu
English HL: 81%
Afrikaans FAL:85%
Mathematics: 67%
LO: 93%
Life Sciences:72%
Physical Science:61%
History: 89%

This year I will be studying Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town. It is my goal to work with people with mental health problems, disabilities, injuries or impairments.

My advice for the Class of 2020 is that it is okay to be second or even last, as long as you have done your utmost best to become the best yoy that you can be. Hard work does pay off and, in matric, YOU ALWAYS HAVE HOMEWORK. Reading through one paragraph of a History essay a day or making notes on the work you did in class are examples of the continued effort that you will have to put outside the classroom.
I would like to thank my family for being my cheerleaders and for not putting pressure on me during my matric year and accepting that my best is enough. I would also like to thank Ms Barnard for inspiring me to be brave and courageous and to always do my best, all the teachers for the extra classes and effort in producing our wonderful results and Mrs Gerber for always reminding us to "not quit before the miracle".

My whole matric year will forever be my greatest school memory, from the gala to the matric celebration of 40 days. The Inter-house Plays, in which I wrote and directed Eleanor's Play, will be my greatest achievement in high school.
Losing my mother before entering high school was my lowest moment. However, God graced me with a wonderful family who have fully supported me through thick and thin.

 January 09, 2020
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