HIGH ACHIEVERS: North Rocky High graduates Madison Schmidt and Matthew Sulman both received OP1 scores. Pictured at their graduation in November last year.
HIGH ACHIEVERS: North Rocky High graduates Madison Schmidt and Matthew Sulman both received OP1 scores. Pictured at their graduation in November last year. Contributed

I got an OP1, but I'm not going to university

MATTHEW Sulman was on a six-week holiday in America with his family when his maths teacher contacted him with some very unexpected news.

The 17-year-old North Rockhampton High graduate had no idea he would received an OP1 score and has no plans to go to university.

"I was in Dallas and hadn't had a chance to check my OP score and had no idea what I got," he said.

"Turns out my maths teacher had checked it for me and she reached out to me and congratulated me on my OP.

"I was like 'whoa', I wasn't expecting that.

"I told my parents a few minutes later and they were really shocked but very pleased, it was great."

He said achieving the OP1 was something that "just sort of happened", he wasn't aiming for a high OP.

"It actually hit me that it was my last year of school, so I tried to give it a good go," he said.

"Some people spend hours upon hours studying - I don't have the fortitude for that. There were a couple of sleepless nights, but not many.

"I wasn't expecting an OP1 but I'm just glad that I put in the extra effort and it paid off."

Mr Sulman said he studied a lot of the harder subjects available in his senior year, including maths B and C, physics, chemistry and OP English.

He said he found maths B and C and chemistry the most enjoyable.

"I found actually chemistry quite interesting and gripping," he said.

"Once you grasp your head around it, everything makes sense.

"It was such a good feeling really.

"Overall though, I think I enjoyed maths the most.

"I'm very good with numbers apparently, according to my maths results.

"Everything is formulaic and when you solve the thing it actually feels like a proper achievement, it's great.

"Physics was just very difficult."

Although Matthew walked away from his senior year with the highest OP possible, he said he has no idea what he wants to do next.

"I didn't find a university course that particularly jumped out at me," he said.

"I'm going to have a gap year, take a bit to evaluate and just go from there.

"It's really puzzling and a big problem to be honest.

"But I don't want to waste it.

"I'm pretty much just interested to see where life takes me."

Matthew said the key to doing well in senior year was "attentiveness and effort".

With a majority of seniors going back to school tomorrow, 17-year-old Matthew said his best advice was to try and avoid the sleepless nights.

"Procrastination was really bad and afflicted a lot of us - we all struggled with it," he said.

"But, if you can manage to get over that barrier it makes it so much easier."



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