Passion Pays Off

Melis Layik is a strong advocate for doing the subjects you love. After graduating from Geelong College in 2016 with an ATAR of 99.5, Melis will go on to study Law and Global studies at Monash University, her first preference.

Theatre Studies, Drama, Legal Studies, Media, English and French took Melis to the soaring heights of 99+ - a full humanities load. Melis wants other students to know they can do subjects they are passionate about and still do well.

“I think a lot of people feel obligated to do the sciences and maths, which are great if that’s what you like. But instead of doing what they are passionate about, a lot of people take the science and maths path and think they will be rewarded with a high score at the end. For me it was so much more rewarding to do subjects I really cared about. Ultimately I did more work because I was enjoying what I was doing, and I did better than I would have if I had chosen the traditional ‘higher scoring’ subjects.”

Looking toward her future, Melis is confident that the arts subjects have taught her the kind of thinking skills she will need to complete her degree, and achieve her longer term goals of working in politics or leadership to create social change.

“I want to make a difference somehow and I know that to be successful in the global arena I am going to have to be able to work with people, manage different ideas, comprise, and stay cool in intense situations. Drama and Theatre Studies certainly taught me that and a lot more.”

“I chose Media purely because I really wanted to make a film. I put my heart and soul into it– getting a cast, writing a script, and doing everything else. I learned from that just to do what you actually want to do, and you will do well in it. I know it makes sense but so many people are afraid to do what they want, not just at school, but in life.”

“And French, I was doing much better at French until the exam, lucky it scaled right up! I enjoy languages because I am Turkish and we speak Turkish at home. I loved English too, it was one of my favourite subjects, so I do like language a lot. French is so commonly used that I do think it will be really valuable particularly in global studies. Not that I think I’m fluent, not at all, but if I continue on at Uni, at least I have a strong base.”

Melis has some words of advice for those approaching their VCE studies.

“I think you should choose the subjects that you feel you will get the most out of. There’s no point starting a subject that you are already bored with or don’t like, so don’t try to convince yourself, if you have to work that hard to decide, maybe it’s not for you. Go with your gut to a certain extent and don’t be afraid that you’ll be penalised. Another thing that helps is to go over all of the information and to do the careers interviews so basically you will know what you are going to learn.”

Her final piece of advice is perhaps the strongest, though. “Everyone is so stressed about what degree they are going to enter, they treat it like a life and death decision but once you’re into something you can always transfer. I’m pretty sure most students transfer or pick up another subject during their time at University so do what you like doing please!”

Geelong College offers an onsite, full time careers and futures program from Years 9 to 12 to ensure students receive the best advice about how to achieve their goals for the future.

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