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I was always that type of student that wasn’t dedicated. I spent most of time gaming, playing sports, sleeping… basically anything that would distract me from school. I was constantly bludging. That was me.

My grades were reasonable at best – they weren’t great, because I paid no attention to my school work. I didn’t put any effort, I never studied.

The story takes a different turn once my sister Kazna enrolled into Chalkwall because she needed help with English for her HSC. My family and I noticed that she went from being ranked in the bottom three of her school class, to finishing in the top three of her class.

I knew that when my parents decided to enrol me into Chalkwall that things weren’t going to be the same for much longer…

I took up Mathematics and English and, instantly, I felt the biggest change of all: I actually started caring about school. Being here [Chalkwall] just motivated me. The way the teachers speak to you – they physically build this driving motivation from right inside you.

It was through their expectations of how I will perform, and driven even more through my parents’ expectations that I began to expect results from myself. And that was when we all saw a difference and, I found my marks improving significantly.

My first ever assessment for Year 11 English was my weakest result because I was having great difficulty with what to write about. But, that changed when my tutor at Chalkwall, Scott, got a hold of the problems that I was having. He sat with me, helped me, guided me and taught me so many important skills that I needed to utilise to make the most of my knowledge in the upcoming exams. We went through plenty of past papers and consistently directed me in the right direction so I can succeed. So reliable and dependable, he answered any of the questions I had and edited any piece of writing I had in the later time of night.

With his help and my drive, I ranked first in the next English assessment that was followed up on.

There’s a certain atmosphere that you’re surrounded by in Chalkwall that I love. When you walk in, you see students working, working out of their own free will. Everyone around you is eager to help each other because they’re eager to succeed. They want to excel and it’s a really lifting environment to study in, because we’re all aiming for the same goal and it feels great to work together to achieve what we want. When I see others studying hard, it motivates me, pushes me. It makes me think: well, if they can do it, why can’t I? And that’s where the hard work begins to roll through.

Coming here has allowed me to form friendships with people who are dedicated to their studies, which has influenced how productively I spend my time. My favourite quote, said by Goethe, is “tell me who you spend time with, and I’ll tell you who you are”. For that, I know that Chalkwall has helped me choose the right kind of company that has boosted me in the right path.

For so many reasons, I know I’ll be sticking with Chalkwall.