‘I jumped and gasped’: Gladstone girl’s top ATAR score
“I saw the mark and I jumped and gasped and threw my hands to my mouth.”
Trinity College student Mana Ridden couldn’t believe her eyes when she realised she had received at 96.2 ATAR score.
After what was a year like no other, the 18-year-old told herself she wasn’t going to have any expectations when she logged onto the QTAC website last weekend.
“I kept my mind blank - I’m usually not an outwardly emotional person,” she said.
“I didn’t expect it to be that high.”
Along with the usual year 12 expectations Mana was also school captain which presented it’s own unique set of challenges in 2020.
“Most leadership activities to bring the community together involves getting people together and with social distancing and the limited number of people in spaces we couldn’t do much of that,” she said.
While at school, Mana studied English, maths, chemistry, physics, music and specialised maths.
She also plays piano for the school church band and teaches others to play in her spare time.
She said the decision to have one less internal assessment was a “blessing” for the class of 2020.
“It was such a relief to have one less,” she said.
“There would have been no way I could do another assessment with home learning.
“I’m so glad they made that decision.”
With school out of the way, Mana is hoping to study medical imaging at the Queensland University of Technology.
“It took lots of long thought sessions trying to figure out what I want to do,” she said.
“I don’t really have passions but I do get quite a kick out of helping people.
“It’s a niche area but it’s in demand.”
Mana will find out if she’s been accepted into the course in mid-January 2021.