‘Work hard and study smart’: Aashray Narula

‘Work hard and study smart’: Aashray Narula

By Nidhi Kumari

For him, his family is his inspiration; managing social and academic life is his way to a successful road ahead; being a participant in activities from as small as helping out in the local barbecues to looking after the elderly at the nursing homes, is his key to happiness. An achiever at an age so young, Aashray Narula, alumni of Sydney Boys High School who secured an ATAR of 99.6 and a state rank of 3rd in German Continuers talks to Indus Age.

 With such high ranking and performance, you’ve become an inspiration for many. But if I had to ask you, who your inspiration is; your answer would be:

My inspiration is, without a doubt my family. It has been through their guidance and advice that I have been able to overcome the HSC. My mother would stay up till late every night helping me with my studies, ensuring I was studying peacefully and effectively. I will never forget the midnight coffee she would prepare for me in order for me to stay awake. My father would, without the blink of an eye, fulfill all my needs and provide me with constant advice and motivation. It is through his effort that I have achieved a hard working ethic. Throughout my schooling life my younger brother has been with me every step of the way, from cheering me on from the sidelines of the cricket oval or the football field to repetitively listening to my English essays during my final year of high school.My family has been a true inspiration of mine and they will continue to be so.

1 (2)At such a young age, we tend to get distracted with myriad of things going on. How do you manage your social and academic life?

It is during these tender teenage years that we are often distracted from our goals. Like every other young adult, I too experienced constant distractions, however with effective time management and planning as well as a strong willed mindset, determined to succeed, I was able to manage a balanced lifestyle. At the start of every day I would spend a few minutes planning my timetable for the entire day. In order to obtain this balance between social, academic and sporting activities, I would ensure I was listening at school and understanding the content. I would attempt to maximise my learning output at school and this allowed me to study less at home. During year 12, I did reduce the amount of sports I played, however I would still participate in competitive cricket on the weekends and occasionally visit the local park to play some basketball. Through all these measures, I had enough time to socialise and spend time with friends and family, especially during the school holidays.

You are at an age where there’s a lot of pressure from the people and society around. From excelling in HSC examinations till date, what has been your calmness and success mantra?

I have had no mantra as such. However, I do believe in the fact that hard work leads to success. There are a variety of approaches you can take to succeeding. For me personally, throughout year 12 I focused more on my weaker subjects of English and Mathematics Extension 2 in order to maximise my ATAR. As such the two main aspects that allowed me to succeed were ensuring I worked hard as well as studied smartly.

Post HSC when many students will be pursuing their dreams and aspirations, what is it that you would want to say to all those who will be venturing/have ventured into this new world?

I was at the Sydney Boys High School Presentation Night on the 16th of February this year and the special guest at the event, delivered an extremely insightful and quite a marvellous speech. He told the students that when we apply for job interviews, the interviewers already know that we are highly intelligent. He went on to say that they want to know what life experiences we have, what we have done for the community, what sports we are involved in. He urged us to participate in as many activities as possible within the community, from helping out at local barbecues, working at a supermarket to helping the elderly at nursing homes. I would urge every single individual to follow his advice and gain as much life experience as possible, as it will be greatly beneficial for them in the future.

Any notable achievement from your High school which you would like to share.

I would consider my most notable achievement to be when I was awarded the prestigious Scholarship for Australian-German Student Exchange from the German Chamber of Commerce in Australia and sponsored by Volkswagen Financial Services. As a result, I spent 10 weeks in Germany, spanning from 23rd November, 2014 to 7th February, 2015.

2 (1)word of advice for your juniors in school:

Throughout my high school life I found it very important to achieve a balanced lifestyle and participate in as many activities as possible. At high school we have all been extremely privileged to be offered numerous opportunities, and I would suggest everyone to effectively utilise these opportunities and achieve a balanced lifestyle. In essence: study hard, play hard.

However, to achieve high marks, a student also has to study effectively. I recommend you all to have a thorough understanding of the process of scaling and mark distribution within the HSC. This does play a role in subject selection. As well as this, it is extremely important to focus on your weaker subjects to maximise your ATAR. For example, there is not a significant difference between a 95 and a 99 in Mathematics, however there is a hugely significant difference between an 85 and a 90 in English. This is attributed to both scaling, the importance of Band 6’s and the importance of English towards an ATAR. As such, it is extremely important to study smart.

Your future plans and how do you intend to accomplish it?

I am currently studying Arts/Law at the University of Sydney. My future plans involve becoming a barrister, possibly involved in the fields of commercial and corporate law. This will require a significant amount of hard work and I intend to accomplish it by working hard. I have always believed that hard work is the key to success and I will put in all the effort required to achieve my goals.


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