If someone had of asked me 2 years ago where I would be in the year 2012, or where I wanted my life to lead in the years to come, I would have responded to them with complete assurance that I had absolutely no idea. If I could have seen myself and my life two years later, I would not have recognised the person I am today compared to the person I was then. I was perfectly happy letting the days pass and making decisions about future years when they eventually rolled around.

Today I am less than 3 weeks away from moving to the “big smoke” with Melbourne College life and University staring back at me, and I am literally counting down the days. If there was a way to fast forward this waiting process into something somewhat shorter and faster, I would give anything for it. However, I can’t help but wonder how someone who was so unsure can find themselves so determined and certain only 24 months later? How can someone’s life aspirations change so drastically and so rapidly?

I began 2010 with the attitude that VCE at Girton was only going to get better, that eventually the long hours of homework, SAC preparation and exam revision would gradually become easier and that I would inevitably grow to love my subjects. As the days passed more slowly, the weeks became longer and the year felt as though it was never going to end. This was a bad thing, until I began to realise that all the things that I didn’t enjoy brought me one step closer to finding the things that I did enjoy. Everyday became a journey of discovering myself and finding my passions.  I began turning every experience into an opportunity to learn about myself and started realising that every thought was creating my future. I began to love where I was heading and could feel my life going through a process of positive change. Before I knew it I was applying for an early offer at the Australian Catholic University of Melbourne (ACU) to study International Development and applying to live at College for the year 2012.

I had always had a strong passion for reducing poverty and travelling to 3rd world countries, and my desire to work in the field of International Human Development only grew stronger as I grew older. I wanted to empower and improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. Overseas trips to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Solomon Islands only cemented this in my heart. I was accepted into the course at ACU in October and since that moment I have had my heart and mind deeply set on making a difference in the world with the dream of one day working for agencies such as World Vision or the United Nations.

By October, school was coming to an end, exams were just around the corner, and the next chapter of my life was about to be written – the hard work was about to pay off. However the end of this chapter also consequently meant an end to the place where I had spent all of my teenage years, made unforgettable memories, ventured on incredible journeys and experiences, learned lessons from the most passionate and dedicated teachers  alongside my closest friends. Suddenly I didn’t want it all to end. Girton and its atmosphere and traditions, the teacher and students, the leadership roles, the genuine acceptance of everyone for who they are, the school and everything that came with it, had made me into the person I was, and the person I am today. For that I will be eternally grateful, and due to the wonderful work of the Old Girtonians’ Association (OGA), I will also be eternally connected to this magical place.

Being awarded the OGA Scholarship was a blessing. I appreciate and thank everyone involved in the Association and am honoured to be putting the funds from this Scholarship towards an overseas trip at the end of 2012 to participate in a volunteer aid program. I am so grateful for my time at Girton and am honoured to have a lifelong connection to the School. In the last 12 months I have learnt that it is okay to be a little aimless, because in time everyone will find themselves and the direction that their life should take will fall into place. Through my involvement in the OGA I hope to help many others, like myself, discover themselves and find their true passions. I would like to thank the generosity of wonderful staff who supported me and made my journey so worthwhile.

Alexandra Rushan (2011 Aherne)