Hard work pays off
LIKE many young adults across Queensland, Marist College graduate Thomas Walters is preparing for life after high school.
However, unlike some of his fellow students, Thomas's future plans do not include leaving Central Queensland.
Thomas, who has been accepted to study physiotherapy, will complete his university degree locally at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton.
The Marist College student said he was offered the placement in December, after he successfully secured an OP3.
"I actually didn't wait up 'til the midnight release results,” Thomas said.
"(My mum) woke me up minutes after midnight with her computer screen showing my results.
"My family were over the moon.
"My mum and dad were so very proud, and really excited that all my hard work had paid off.”
Thomas said his OP prediction earlier in the year was a 4 to 7, which he "would have been really happy with”.
"However I was determined to keep working on improving my results right until the final assessment piece,” Thomas said.
"I was successful in improving in five of my six subjects by the end of the year.”
Improving his OP prediction involved a lot of study for the Year 12 student.
However, this hard work paid off for Thomas in the end, when he was awarded Dux of Marist College.
"At the end of Year 11, I finished the year third in my year,” Thomas said.
"It was then that I thought Dux may be a possibility.
"I had worked hard in Year 11, however, I knew that to get Dux I need to improve my results even more.
"I had a part time job and knew that I needed to be able to balance life and school work.”
Thomas said he and his friend, Mason Schmidt, who had most subjects together, pushed each other to perform better and slowly improve their grades.
"The combination of these things helped me to not only believe that I could get Dux, but to actually achieve it at the end. I was very fortunate in the end,” Thomas said.
"Dux is a 'point in time' result.
"At that particular time, I was successful.
"Had it been determined at a different point, it could have gone differently.”
Thomas said he was very fortunate to have had the support of "some incredible teachers” during his five years at Marist College.
"I made sure that I started assignments as soon as I was given them and took advantage of any feedback given to me by my teachers,” Thomas said.
"Don't give up. Everyone has set backs ... pick yourself up, learn from them and move forward.”
Thomas said he plans to stay in the region once he graduates from Central Queensland University.
"I love living regionally and it is very important to me to be able to work here when I've graduated,” he said.