14 January, 2020 Academic

Navigating Year 12 and achieving VCE success: Sara Hassoun

St Michael’s students have a long history of VCE success and entering into a wide variety of post school pathways. Following the release of VCE results in December 2019, many students have achieved an ATAR that will allow them to take the next step toward their chosen area of study.

We spoke to recent graduate, Sara Hassoun, to hear about her St Michael’s journey, how she navigated the challenges of VCE, and her ambitions for the future.


Sara Hassoun (12K)

Sara began her primary school education with St Michael’s in Prep and graduated last year after 14 years at the School. In Year 12, Sara took on the leadership role of Co-Captain (7-12), while also undertaking a challenging VCE subject mix including Chemistry, English, French, Global Politics, Maths Methods and Psychology. Sara achieved a perfect study score of 50 in Global Politics and graduated with an outstanding ATAR of 98.05, placing her in the top 2% of the state.

Sara’s success wasn’t limited to the classroom, she also participated in Debating, Choir, ACS Athletics and Cross Country, receiving a Gold Award at Speech Night for each.

“Going into Year 12 and throughout the year, I tried to maintain the mindset that Year 12 is really just a small stepping stone, rather than a monumental event. This perspective really helped me to find a balance between extra-curricular activities and study, as I was conscious of wanting to look back on more than just academic accomplishments when I completed Year 12,” said Sara.

Sara wasn’t just concerned about her own achievements, she always acted with care and compassion, making sure her friends were coping with the pressures of VCE.

I found it really hard watching my friends go through stressful times, as everyone’s load is so different at various points during the year. It’s really important to check in on people, as it’s such a tricky year for everyone.Sara Hassoun (12K)

Also interested in lending a hand in the local community, Sara was instrumental in organising the Merry Month of May charity drive.

“Helping to organise the Merry Month of May was so incredibly rewarding. It was amazing to be able to genuinely connect with different charities to better understand their goals, rather than just fundraise.”

Remaining focused on her studies was a challenge at times but Sara found a good balance that helped her stay on track throughout the year.

“Staying focused and motivated was one of the most difficult things for me. There were a couple of times during the year when I would get home from school and have very little motivation to do any work. I think during these periods, it was really important to be kind to myself so that I could ‘reset’ rather than burn out. Finding a balance between study and downtime helped me to stay focused when I needed to the most.”

  • navigating-year-12-and-achieving-vce-success-sara-hassoun
    Sara leading the conga line on Pride and Inclusion Day
  • navigating-year-12-and-achieving-vce-success-sara-hassoun
    Co-captains Sara and Bas

When reflecting on a busy 2019, Sara’s advice to future VCE students is simple: get plenty of sleep, seek clarity and have fun.

“For me, it was imperative that I slept well. I never pulled an all-nighter, even if I hadn’t done much work that night or had a SAC the next day because I knew that I wouldn’t function on a small amount of sleep. I also made sure to hand in heaps of practice SACs and exams and I met with teachers frequently to go over things I was unsure about. Lastly, I just tried to have as much fun as I could during the year so that I could walk away from Year 12 with good memories.”

Sara is excited for university life next year and has accepted an offer at Melbourne University to study Arts, where she hopes to continue her studies in the humanities.

We congratulate Sara on all she has achieved during her time at St Michael’s and wish her the best for next year and beyond.