Ayush Tyagi commenced at GVGS in 2017 with his twin sister Ash after their family relocated to Victoria from the ACT. “Coming from Canberra, it was hard at the beginning because I wasn’t used to being in a rural setting,” he says. “When we first joined the school they gave us a buddy system, so right from the beginning we had someone that we knew we could go to whenever we need help with anything.” Ayush says it was a collaborative effort from the students and teachers that made him feel right at home from day one at his new school. “Grammar is very organised and very professional…the teachers were really helpful right from the start and I really noticed that,” he says. “Being at Grammar has been a good experience.” Ayush has enjoyed his short time at GVGS and was particularly grateful to be a participant in the Year 9 school camp to Melbourne. “It was my first time going to Melbourne and because we were broken into groups for the trip it was really helpful in making new friends as well,” he says. “Seeing how nice Melbourne was when we were on the camp really made me want to move there for university.”
Ayush has chosen English, Chemistry, Mathematics Methods and Specialist Mathematics as his VCE subjects in an effort to fine tune his critical thinking, science literacy and innovation skills. “I like STEM subjects the most because it’s always been fascinating to me how each subject helps you to understand the world around you,” he says. “My brother really liked STEM subjects when he was in high school too and that has influenced me to study these subjects.” Ayush has been nominated as Goulburn Valley Grammar School’s inaugural recipient of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) new Future Innovator’s Award because of his passion for STEM subjects. Students are awarded on their ability to demonstrate innovation and learning in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, with Year 12 winners rewarded with a $550 cash prize and a certificate of achievement from the ADF. “I was really surprised when I was nominated, I didn’t expect it at all,” Ayush says.
As with all school students across the country this year, Ayush has been working to adjust to his new reality: remote learning. “At the start it was really hard to find motivation,” he says. “Everything was a bit unclear and we didn’t know what was going to happen, but then I kept reminding myself of my goals and what I was working towards and I think that it has helped me get my motivation on track.” Having his twin sister by his side while taking his final classes online from home has been an ongoing source of comfort for Ayush during this difficult time as well. “I can’t imagine not having her in my life, we’ve always been together,” he says. “It’s like I’ve always got someone to talk to…having siblings is a great support.”
Although Ayush was appointed as the GVGS Badminton Captain for 2020 he hasn’t been able to enjoy the role as much as he would have liked, opting for strength training and running during lockdown to keep fit and destress instead. “I’ve played badminton my whole life; I used to play with my dad back when we lived in India and over time I really grew to love it, but when playing badminton socially wasn’t an option anymore I started looking at other ways keep fit,” he says. “Staying active has been a really good stress outlet and distraction, but it’s also been good for my mental health too.” Throughout the trials and tribulations of this year, Ayush is thankful for the support he has received from the school to ensure the quality of his learning experience stayed consistently high. “I think Grammar have been doing a really good job while we’ve moved to remote learning,” he says. “The teachers were on the ball right from the start – they told us what to do and we just followed their lead.” Having endured one of his most difficult school years in his life so far, Ayush is looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020. “The year has gone so quickly, but I am really looking forward to my last exam…the teachers have been so helpful in telling us exactly what we need to do and how to stay organised,” he says. “I think if everyone stays on track, we’ll all do well in our exams…I can’t wait to just relax for a couple of weeks and maybe pick up some part time work over the summer.”
In 2021, Ayush plans on relocating to Melbourne and, although he hasn’t decided on the exact course he wants to dedicate himself to, he is looking at pursuing a career in computer science. “My brother studied computer science when he went to university, and once he showed me what he was working on at the time and I knew then that that was what I wanted to do too,” he says. “It really excited me to see his work…you can write a few lines of code and it basically tells your computer what to do and it can make your life so much easier.” Ayush’s older brother currently lives in New York City and works at investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs. “Even though I was still in primary school at the time, seeing my brother graduate from university and then move to America inspired me to follow in his footsteps,” he says.
Looking ahead Ayush’s main focus is preparing himself for university, but he is hopeful for a job with either Google or Microsoft in the future. “I was really struggling with getting motivated this year, but after watching an online lecture from [public speaker] Darren Pereira I got some really good study tips that were very helpful,” he says. “One of the main pieces of advice that I remember from his talk was ‘work smarter, not harder’ and ever since then I’ve been organising my time really well; focusing on the quality of what I’ve been doing rather than the quantity.” Ayush hopes all Year 12s adopt a similar mantra, adding to this advice: “Never be afraid to ask teachers for help, they are your best resource.”