11 January 2016
If there is something Yilin Liu lives by, it is 'always be prepared'.
The 18-year-old recently scored 100 per cent on her Foundation Year – the first student in Monash College history to achieve this feat.
'My number one study tip is to be prepared,' said Yilin. 'I read my books ahead of time, which allows me to be organised with revision during the semester and at exam time.'
Since moving to Australia in 2014, Yilin has experienced a different way of life.
'My life has changed greatly,' she said. 'The Melbourne lifestyle is relaxed. I can set my own time and be more independent.'
But this also requires careful time management.
'I schedule my time so that if I have social plans, or I want to go swimming, I complete my homework before I go out. It is more comfortable and flexible and allows me to study the way I want to.'
Yilin says independence has also deepened her love for study. 'Back home, things were always compulsory and sometimes it felt like a chore. But now that I can choose the best way for me to study I have found the deeper meaning. I actually want to study.'
Yilin encourages other students to take advantage of Monash College teachers to increase success at school.
'Students should ask any question – even silly ones,' she said. 'The teachers are so helpful and it is really important to listen to them.'
For Yilin, the practical experience has also helped her in her studies.
'In China, we would have only three experiments per year in Chemistry. Even then it is very rare for students to touch the equipment. But at Monash College I got a lot of practical experience, which helped me learn and has prepared me for university.'
In 2016, Yilin plans to study a Bachelor of Pharmacy, following in the medical footsteps of her grandparents, who are both surgeons.
Her final piece of advice? 'Sometimes the teachers recommend things, but it is not compulsory. Do it anyway and make the most of your experience. This is how you will be prepared for university.'