Jessie Andrew says she was “fairly successful” in her 2015 HSC, having received an ATAR of 86.90 and placing in the top 10 in her year. She took PDHPE, Community and Family Studies, Modern History, General Mathematics, Advanced English and Biology and says her final year was a year of mixed emotions. While she enjoyed time spent with friends and teachers, it was also a stressful time as she struggled to find a balance between studying and socialising.
In early 2015, Jessie applied for an athletic and academic scholarship to study and play soccer in America, through a company called NSR Australia. After several trials and interviews, she was granted the scholarship and spent much of year 12 fundraising for her trip.
In July 2016, Jessie flew to America and began attending and playing soccer at East Central Community College in Mississippi. Jessie was understandably nervous to pack up her life and move to America alone, but says it was the best experience she’s ever had. She says the most challenging part of the experience was being alone in an unfamiliar environment, but says, “I was quick to get over the nervousness with the help of my amazing team mates and friends that I met whilst over there. They made me feel like I was at home and were so welcoming and gracious.”
“Although it was difficult at times and of course I missed my home and my family and friends, It was the best decision I have ever made and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Ultimately, Jessie stayed in Mississippi for over ten months, earning a grade point average of 3.8 out of a possible four, and receiving honours from the Dean and President of the school. Jessie also excelled on the field, and was offered captaincy for the following year by her coach.
Despite Jessie’s success, she decided to leave Mississippi in May 2017 and focus on her studies at home. Jessie has applied to the University of Technology to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.
To add to Jessie’s homesickness, in September 2016 she tore her ACL and required reconstructive surgery. This was the hardest period of her time overseas. Alone and in a lot of pain, Jessie often wished she was closer to home. However, with the help of her teammates, coach and physical therapists, she was back to playing by March. Jessie says, “Although it was difficult at times and of course I missed my home and my family and friends, It was the best decision I have ever made and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”