Pranav Harrichund got a full house – seven distinctions – in the 2019 matric exams, Jeppe’s top performer in a good academic year for the school. He gives a lot of the credit for his success to the other boys in his class and grade who he says encouraged him, motivated him and even helped him with some of the work.
“The results came as bit of a surprise to me,” he said. “I was expecting a few distinctions but I never though I would get all seven. The one that surprised me most was Physical Science. I was getting 40% for that subject at the beginning of grade 11, but luckily I had some very smart friends who were good at it and they helped me through it.”
Pranav says there came a point during the year at which he had to decide what sort of legacy he wanted to leave at the school. “I was coasting along, always in the top 10 in my grade and the temptation was to take my foot off the gas and enjoy the rest of the year. I could do that, or I could try to achieve something special.
“It was the beginning of the third term, when the involvement of the matrics in the schools extra-curricular programme ended, and I decided to give it a go. I worked very hard from then on, and I got the rewards.”
Pranav was very involved in what Jeppe has to offer. He was in the first chess team, played hockey for the lower teams and was in the pipe band. He went to the Basel Tattoo with the pipe band in 2017, and on the Cultural and Academic tour this year. “I wanted to experience everything that I could at Jeppe and I’m not sorry that I did,” he said. “I made great friends in the process and felt what it was like to belong to something. Those friendships and relationships helped me achieve what I have done.”
The secret of his success, he believes, was allowing himself to step back and take it easy from time to time. “When I was working hard I put in the hours – sometimes up to eight hours a day – but I’d take a day a week off. I’d look for a pick-up game of soccer with my friends, or just chill out. If I did do any work on those days it wouldn’t be studying. I’d do a few past exam papers, just to see where I was and to boost my confidence.”
It’s off to Pretoria for Pranav now where he will be studying mechanical engineering at Tukkies.
When we asked him if the overseas trips he went on were the highlights of his time and Jeppe he conceded that they were memorable, “but,” he said, “what I really enjoyed was getting up early on a Saturday morning in the winter and looking forward to playing a hockey game with my best friends.”
That’s an answer that shows Pranav Harrichund was a true Jeppe boy, and he has certainly succeeded in his aim of leaving a legacy that will show that he did something special here. He has made us enormously proud.