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Student Stories

Ready to face the challenges of the future

When ACG Strathallan alumna, Amber Goodger, sets her sights on something, success is sure to follow. Having always dreamed of receiving the school’s highest academic award, she was thrilled when her hard work paid off and she was announced as the 2019 Dux recipient at last year’s prizegiving ceremony.

Amber then consolidated her academic accomplishments with outstanding results in her Cambridge International A Level examinations, where she received two A* grades (90% and above) for Biology and Chemistry and two A grades (80% and above) for Physics and Mathematics.

Receiving such phenomenal Cambridge exam results meant a great deal to Amber and was a fitting reward for her focus and determination. She admits however, that the delay between finishing her final exam and the publication of her marks did allow uncertainty to creep in.

“Waiting for the results to come out I was doubting myself and preparing for the worst. After seeing that they exceeded my expectations I was ecstatic because it meant I could pursue my dream line of study at my first choice of university. Realising how much I underestimated myself allowed me to gain the confidence I will need going into this year.”

With these impressive results to buttress her tertiary study, the future looks bright for Amber who recently began a Bachelor of Science at the University of Auckland. Majoring in biomedical science, the top scholar hopes this rapidly developing area in biological science will help to ensure her acceptance to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme next year.

Grateful for the guidance and encouragement of her teachers, Amber feels their continued support has helped her to prepare for not only the challenges of university, but also for the wider world.

“As I reached my final few years at Strathallan I felt that the teachers really began to treat us as adults, teaching us to be responsible for our own development and education which is essential when you’re at university,” she explains. “Strathallan provided me with a comfortable and supportive environment in which I could figure out for myself what my strengths and weaknesses were and having teachers that were so approachable and encouraging definitely made preparation for this transition to the next step in my life enjoyable.”

One of the most valuable lessons that Amber will take away from her time at Strathallan is the importance of perseverance and resilience. While the talented teen has always strived for excellence, she has come to understand that it is just not possible to gain immediate expertise across all areas – and that a lot can be learnt from the simple effort of trying.

“I never really knew what it felt like to be challenged in school until my last couple of years at Strathallan. My confidence was knocked when I found things difficult and I wasn’t really sure how to deal with it. However, due to experiencing this and having the school guide me through it, I am now able to take away with me the skills to accept when I find things difficult, and how to overcome them and ask for help when I need it.”

While keeping her future plans flexible, Amber is certain that she would like to be involved in the medical field where she can help those who aren’t able to help themselves. And when asked what she is looking forward to most in her upcoming life as a university undergraduate, she replies, “I am most excited to be studying the subjects I am most passionate about. I am also looking forward to living in the halls and experiencing the student culture.”