The St Andrew’s Scholars are exceptional young men and women who thrive academically, are engaged in life and have the potential to make a significant positive contribution to our College and, in the future, the broader community.
Xavier Eales is one of our St Andrew’s Scholars in 2017. Below he discusses his past achievements and what he is most looking forward to in her time at College.
What degree are you studying?
I will be studying a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws. From a young age, the areas of commerce and law evoked in me a spirit of curiosity and questioning. This fascination was furthered during school when economics and debating opened my eyes to the scale of global enterprise and the foundations of social order. Through cultural exchanges to Asia and a gap year which delved deep into the crux of the world’s largest economy, China, I had my first irresistible taste of commerce and law in action on a grand scale.
What’s your greatest achievement to date?
In his final days, my grandfather told me to “never be comfortable in your comfort zone”. That was why I embarked on a gap year, the completion of which I count as my greatest achievement. I isolated myself from all that I knew –friends, family and financial dependency. I lasted 328 days overseas, visiting 23 countries and 65 cities throughout three continents. I spanned 5,694m of altitude (from -429m at the Dead Sea to 5,265m at Everest) and a temperature range of 91℃ (from -41℃ in Finland to 50℃ in Iran). I emerged with an advanced proficiency in Chinese. But most importantly, through hardship and isolation, I came to value my own company. I loved me for who I truly was.
What does being an St Andrew’s Scholar mean to you?
Being a St Andrew’s Scholar is an immense honour. It was during high school that I first began to seriously consider what I wanted my adult formation to look like. It quickly became evident that St Andrew’s was the place for me – it is an institution filled with extraordinary people who are informed and propelled by set of core values which match my own. Being a St Andrew’s Scholar isn’t only an honour, though. It also comes with a responsibility – to give the College my all. And that is what I plan to do.
What are you most excited for at St Andrew’s College?
Being a boarder during my last two years of high school opened my eyes to the incredible feeling of camaraderie amongst those who you live and learn with. It’s that same feeling of community which most excites me about St Andrew’s. By all accounts, it is a place with an embedded culture of tightly-knit friendships. That is a culture I can see myself contributing greatly to.
Based on your interests and skills, in which areas of College life do you believe you’ll make the most significant contributions?
I believe that I’ll make significant contributions to both the academic and social aspects of College life. On the academic side, I will focus largely on engagement with my peers. A strong learning environment is fostered through constructive debate, and I see an abundance of opportunities for this through the tutorials at the College and discussions with any mentors or buddies. With regards to the social aspect of College, I’ll work to create meaningful relationships, always opening social circles rather than closing them.
What advice would you give to future St Andrew’s Scholars Program applicants?
Your application should overflow with things to talk about. If it doesn’t, you should use that as an incentive to go out and do more, learn more and risk more. When you eventually put pen to paper to distil your achievements into an application, use it as a cathartic process to appreciate the fruits of your labours. When it comes to the interview, be yourself. If you have genuine passions, trust that the conversation will naturally steer that way. Don’t try to force it.
The St Andrew’s Scholars program is seeking young people with the capacity and commitment to realise their potential to become leaders in the university, the nation and the world. The College will provide students of outstanding abilities with a residential environment that enhances their university experience, providing them with opportunities to extend their talents and interests and to develop lives of meaning.
The scholarships will provide full free relief and will be awarded for the duration of each student’s undergraduate degree, whilst they live in St Andrew’s.
Applications for the 2018 intake open in April. Visit St Andrew’s Scholars Program for more information as it becomes available.