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“Strove Toward Balance”, Southdowns College Leading Student, Jacques de Chermont


For Southdowns College in Pretoria’s top matriculant Jacques de Chermont it wasn’t all about academics. because He strove toward balance.

He found that on the sports fields. He played first-team cricket, the outside center for the first rugby team, was in the A-team for athletics and the B team for swimming.

De Chermont’s strategy obviously worked with the pupil getting distinctions in Accounting, English, Afrikaans, Life Sciences, Maths, Science, Advanced Programming Maths.

So how do you do all of that and get 95% in your matric exam, with distinctions in every one of your eight subjects? His answer is short: “Discipline”.

“You have to put in the hours,” he said.

“Eight hours was my magic number,” he said, explaining that he would make sure to spend this amount of time behind the books daily.

He also believes that his faith – he said a prayer before every study session or paper – was essential to his success.

The next step for De Chermont in fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a wildlife veterinarian will start soon, as he will start his studies in veterinary science at Onderstepoort, the training hospital for University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science.

“I’ve wanted to be a wildlife vet since I could remember,” he said. While speaking in an interview he was aptly on a drive in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

He was at Southdowns – a combined school – since Grade 2 and found that the staff facilitated his strive toward balance.

“Get involved in as many things as possible,” was his advice to the class of 2019.

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