When Avinal Garach arrived at Jeppe High School for Boys five years ago, one of the first things he noticed was that the academic honours board in the Memorial Hall only featured two names under the “9 Distinctions” heading.
He decided, there and then, that it wasn’t going to be that way when he left the school. He set about making it happen – from that day on – and when the results were announced this week he duly got his full house: A symbols in English, Afrikaans, Maths, LO, Accounting, Business Studies, IT, Physical Science and AP Maths.
An obviously elated Avinal puts it down to sheer determination, and time management. “I set my mind on it from the beginning and then I planned to fit in the time and effort that was necessary,” he says.
That meant an average of eight hours a day spent on academics during the year, and up to 16 in the exam periods. “That’s what it took,” he says, “but it doesn’t mean that I never did anything else. I played sport – although I wasn’t very good at it, and I made some amazing friends here at Jeppe.”
He thoroughly enjoyed his five years at the school. “I learnt respect and discipline at Jeppe, but what really struck me was the atmosphere of kindness that exists here. I have met some amazing people. My teachers were my inspiration, they taught me the subjects, but they also taught me about life.”
Avinal has applied for, and been accepted for a BSc in IT at Cape Town University, but he is also still waiting for replies from a number of top universities in the United States. “They only decide in March, so I’m not quite sure about what the future holds,” he says.
“Studying abroad appeals to me because I want to experience everything I can. I want to become a cultured man, aware of as much as possible of what the world has to offer.”
His advice to those coming after him is for them to set goals early on, and to establish themselves and stick to that.
“All that I am is as a result of Jeppe,” he concluded, “I will always be grateful.”