Hyllyan Lopez

Hyllyan Lopez - Class of 2019

What year did you start attending PCACs and why the change of school?

I began attending PCACS in 2018 and the reason was that the whole family decided to move to Perth as my sister was starting University. 

You received a Scholarship at PCACS, can you tell us about how you came to apply and what you gained from it?

I was looking for scholarships for schools around Perth and when I found that PCACS was offering a huge range of scholarships, it was a very appealing option amongst other schools – additionally, it was so close to where I lived. Regardless of whether I was offered a scholarship or not, PCACS would still have been my choice of school. This scholarship gave me the incentive to strive to be the best that I could be academically and as an individual. It encouraged me to be a role model and thus gave me the confidence to pursue a Prefect position. This scholarship provided the opportunity for me to grow and it is evident that the scholarship and everything that it had given me had paid off when WACE was over.

What are the things you enjoyed about your Senior School experience at PCACS? (What were the challenges too).

I enjoyed many of the events that were held such as R U OK? Day, Crazy Hair Day, Founders' Day, Harmony Day, and so much more that PCACS offered. The School had always organised something fun and enjoyable and I really appreciated that. My favourite moment, however, would be the Muck-up Day for the Year 12 Leavers. It was great to have so much freedom and fun all in one day and it really made it feel like it was the turning of the last page on the book that was our High School experience. I also enjoyed being able to go on excursions as a Prefect to learn more about leadership and at the same time have some fun along the way. My fellow prefects also organised little fun events for the year group,  it was nothing short of memorable.

The challenges I faced came in the form of managing my time, avoiding distractions, and finding my rhythm. I am sure this is a prevalent subject among all students but I definitely put an emphasis on overcoming these challenges to reach my academic goals. Otherwise, I had no other woes that bothered me during my time at PCACS.

Did you know what you wanted to do after High School? Did you choose the subjects in Senior School that would compliment what you are doing right now?

Yes, I was very sure that I wanted to be an Engineer (Electrical or Mechanical) since I have always had an inclination to Maths and I just loved doing it. It was fun to me although that probably sounds weird to hear. The subjects I chose were perfect for my degree. I don’t have a hard time absorbing concepts as they are built on the concepts that were learnt during Year 11 and 12. I know of some people that didn’t do one subject or another and they tell me that they are slightly struggling to comprehend everything as it is all brand new to them. I am very thankful that I chose those subjects.

Can you give us some detail about what subjects you studied in Year 12, and what was your overall ATAR result. What courses were you aiming to get into at University?

I did English, Methods, Specialist, Physics, and Chemistry. It was all around a STEM centered selection of subjects and it is mostly Maths and the application of it to hundreds of different contexts. It is definitely a challenging set of subjects but with good study habits, it is very manageable. With hard work and a solid goal in mind, I achieved an ATAR result of 97.05. As mentioned before, the courses I aimed to get into was Engineering and hopefully either Electrical or Mechanical as a major.

Tell us a little bit about your first year at University? 

My first year of university so far has been a learning experience as the change of environment/learning scheme is something that every student needs to adapt to coming from High School. There are no teachers to tell you exactly what to do and so you must take an independent approach to your learning. I initially started off quite rough as I failed to stay up to date with content and failed to manage my time wisely. This was because I was unprepared mentally for what was to come, and my expectations were not set correctly. However, I made a change to my routine I started to find my own rhythm.

I selected Engineering as my course. Curtin offers and Engineering Foundation Year where all 6 units throughout the year introduce students to different fields of Engineering. It has been very insightful being able to have a glimpse of the different disciplines and it really helps me choose which field I want to pursue. There is a lot of new content that is built on our previous understanding of Science and Math but it has been manageable thus far. 

If you had some advice to give students about to enter Year 10 and above, what would you tell them?

For students going into Year 10 and above, I have a couple things that I have learnt that may be applicable to them. I have learnt that finding what works for you in terms of study/social life/work as soon as you are able, will put you in a comfortable position throughout the coming years. Having a set strategy or approach to study or a study plan will make it that much easier to feel more organised in terms of knowing content. Other than academics, its definitely an opportunity to make memories in the last couple years of school. I am not lying when I say that it will be one of the best years of your lives. Your friends are always close, you see them everyday, and you don’t have too many responsibilities – despite the bombardment of assessments – but school wouldn’t be as gratifying if it didn’t have its low points. Don’t take your time for granted as life comes quick when you do. Work hard and have fun, and balance both equally.