Gypsy Akhyar

“Don’t underestimate the power of the things that make you happy. You don’t always need to look ahead, at the future, sometimes you must look at the present. What makes you happy today? Cherish it, pursue it! The rest will work itself out.”

Gypsy Akhyar grew up in Norlane and went to Norlane West Primary School (now Northern Bay College Peacock Campus), then on to the Goldsworthy campus for senior school. “I was a bit of a lazy kid when it came to schoolwork but that changed towards VCE when it all started becoming real.”

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Graduating as Dux of Northern Bay College in 2018, Gypsy is now studying a Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Melbourne, intending to major in Pure Mathematics. “My goal for the future is to actually become an academic! You’d think that after 13 years of school I’d want to get into the workforce, but I have a very strong passion for learning, and I’d love to stay and write papers and teach at university. I’m not sure what degrees I’ll complete after my undergraduate, but I’d like to do an honours year so that I can write my own paper on maths, maybe following that, I’ll go straight to my masters, or maybe I’ll take an interim to pursue my other passion of Philosophy. I guess I’ll have to just wait and see!”

Throughout High School, Gypsy was involved in the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars programs, which opened up social connections between likeminded students to collaborate in study skill building sessions. “I’d strongly recommend any program that allows you to meet a bunch of people – you underestimate how much you can learn from diversity! What’s very important to me is that people realise they are capable of doing anything they want, no matter who they are. Of course, it takes hard work, but anything is in reach if you try hard enough. No doubt, mistakes will be made, and you will have to ask for help from time to time, but that’s just part of the process, it’s all worth it in the end!

“I’m very thankful to all the people that supported me (friends, teachers), those who have given me financial support (The Smith Family, Skyline Foundation, Janet Clarke Hall), those who stuck by me even when I was lazy and didn’t do my homework (Mum and Dad). I had a tremendous amount of support from everybody at my High School, and without them I’d really be nothing.”

We asked Gypsy the question ‘Who is your role model?’ “I don’t have any role models in particular, but I like to pick up certain traits from people I admire. I picked up my hard-working attitude from my mother. My ability to improvise and adapt, to not stress, from my father. The ability to set a goal and stop at nothing to achieve it, from my friends, Ethan and Josh. My desire to be as altruistic and kind as can be, from my friend Brandon. I don’t think anyone is perfect, but there are some parts of a person that are!

“Geelong has the advantage of having all the good things that a city needs without it always being jam packed and noisy! We are close to Melbourne if we need anything, but far enough that we can still have our space. For me, I have all the associations of being a kid in Geelong, and the sense of nostalgia I can’t really get anywhere else.”

Story and photo: Brandon Dellow