‘”The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” Robert Kiyosaki
The preceding quote is appropriate for this week’s HYPE feature Nikki Serieux. A graduate of the Class of 2014 at the Saint Joseph’s Convent, Nikki sat the CSEC examinations, obtaining distinctions in all of the eight subjects she wrote.
She is 17 and lives with her father in the southwestern village of Laborie. Still very much in awe at her achievement, she tells us of her secondary school life and talks about the CSEC experience.
How difficult was it for you attaining your grades?
NS: It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t too difficult. It was pure determination. I put in the work; for me it was never too much and I got the desired results.
What was your reaction to the results?
NS: Actually, it still hasn’t sunk in as yet because every time I look at the results I’m like “Oh my God!”
What stream of subjects did you study?
NS: I studied the Sciences. I wrote Math, English, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History, French and Information Technology.
You were always the top student during your primary years. When you moved on to the Saint Joseph’s Convent, how difficult was it to remain focused and motivated? NS: I have always been self-motivated, and with adults always reiterating that life’s getting harder, my motivation was that, if I want to become something and not be struggling with employment, I have to do the work. My parents didn’t have to be on my back nor did they have to bribe me in order to get me to succeed.
How much of a role did your parents play in your success?
NS: My parents always supported me. I remember in form one I got my first 60% and I expected my father to scold me. But he was like, “It’s okay, you just entered the school, you’re not used to the environment.” From then I realized that even when I don’t do as well as he expects, he would still be proud of me and my effort. So that took the pressure off me.
What were your first few years at SJC like?
NS: The first year at the school was very difficult for me because I was the only person from the south in my class, so I knew nobody and had no friends. I’m a shy person so that didn’t help either. I didn’t make any friends probably until the third term.
How difficult was it to be among the top students in your class?
NS: There was a lot of competition. I was not among the very top students until about form three. At SJC, I felt like there were so many intelligent students, that I got complacent in form one and two. When I finally got the top spot in form three I was like, “This is it, this is what I have to do, and so I just need to keep working hard.”
Explain the difference between finally obtaining the top spot in form three and obtaining your eight distinctions. NS: The difference is, in form three, myself and the other students were competing for first place. But for CSEC, the results are for you. It doesn’t matter if another student gets twelve distinctions or six; as long as you got what you were aiming for.
What do you plan on doing now that you’ve completed your secondary education?
NS: I plan on going to A-Level to study Math, Biology and Chemistry and hopefully after that I will move on to the University of the West Indies.
What career would you like pursue?
NS: I would like to be a gynecologist. I think every year in secondary school I changed my mind. In form one and form two I wanted to be a teacher. In form