Christina Vaudran’s matric year was all the things she had been warned about.
The 18-year-old Parktown Girls High alma mater, who is inspired by South Africa’s leading female human rights minds such as Fatima Khan, says the pressures was real but worth it.
“My matric year made me realise that all the warnings I had been given about matric were true. From the first day in January, I could feel how the pressure had heightened as I walked into each class. The work was more difficult, and there was more of it.
“Despite this, my academic performance stayed relatively consistent with my previous years in high school. It required a lot more effort on my part, but it was all worth it in the end,” she says.
She says that having seen her outstanding preliminary exam results, she was inspired to do even better so that she would be eligible to study law and pursue her passion for human rights.
“I was really confident after seeing my preliminary exam results. Preliminaries were supposed to be a test run for finals, so doing well in my exams was definitely a relief.
“I knew that the real thing was yet to come. I tried my best not to lose momentum as I worked my way through the final stretch.
“I plan to study a BA in Law at the University of Cape Town. I hope to get my law degree and possibly study further and do my postgraduate degree overseas,” she says.
When it comes to finding inspiration for her passion for law, Vaudran says she is inspired by the formidable spirit of SA’s strong women.
“I am inspired by the powerful women icons in my life and our country. I was fortunate enough to have interacted with women of the South African Labour Court, and to have visited the formidable Constitutional Court of South Africa.
“Seeing the amazing work done by women in the field of law has been a major source of inspiration for me to pursue a career in law, specifically with regard to human rights.”
Achieving academia has not stopped Vaudran, who is also a good hockey player and a debate champion, from spending time on her other interests.
Vaudran is also big on inclusivity and diversity, having been part of Parktown Girls High’s Representative Council for Learners (RCL) where she spent time on cultural activities and promoting diversity and transformation as the guiding ethos of the school.
“I took part in hockey and debating as extramurals at school. Playing hockey was an outlet for me to blow off steam and clear my head. Debating has been my passion for a very long time.
“In Grade 11, I debated at an international level as part of the South African National debating team. In matric, I realised that I had to take a step back, so I focused on school debating and helped coach the younger debaters as the captain.
“However, the biggest highlights of my matric year were the RCL projects where we took on the Cultural Evening and initiatives centred on promoting transformation and diversity at my school. For example, we designed new school banners which contained our school values translated into 11 of the official languages of South Africa. The moments spent connecting with the student body definitely made my year.“