National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Hannah Nel

Hannah is from the Free State and is studying BSC Agric (Animal Science) at the University of Pretoria.

“When it comes to applying for a place at university, my advice to matriculants is to start the application process soon enough so that you have all the necessary documentation handed in on time. Also keep your options open by applying at more than one institution”.

When/how did you realise you enjoyed science and mathematics more than your other school subjects?

While I have always particularly loved biology and science, it has not necessarily been more enjoyable than other subjects. I also loved art and languages. I chose a more scientific academic career because it is so versatile and suits my personality best. My mother played a part in this decision by always encouraging us to question things and look into how they work. Both my mathematics and science teachers also motivated me to work hard and enjoy the subject matter.

Tell us a bit about your school.

My high school, Witteberg Secondary School, had about 650 pupils and is situated in Bethlehem,Free State, which is a reasonably large town. I was lucky to have extremely dedicated teachers and amazing friends.

Why did you choose the course you are studying now?

It was between a career in science or one in art. Since I do not have the needed temperament to study art, I chose science.

Any other advice you would like to share that would be helpful to learners in Grades 11 and 12?

Start working at the beginning of the year, do not leave it for the last minute.

Did you encounter any challenges that made it difficult for you to excel in maths and science?

I participated in an exchange program and visited Germany for three months in Gr10. During this time I missed some key concepts, especially in mathematics. The only thing I could do to fix this was to put in the time and effort when I came back.

What/ Who inspires you? 

I grew up in a home where my parents believed our schoolwork was our own responsibility, so I have never really relied on others to motivate or inspire me to work. Since I found the work/subject matter interesting, it is what I chose to pursue.

Where do you see yourself five years from now, in terms of your studies/career?

I will probably still be at university, working on a further qualification. I haven’t really decided yet!

What advice do you have for matriculants who have to apply for places at higher education institutions?

Start soon enough so that you have all the necessary documentation handed in on time. Also keep your options open by applying at more than one institution.

Subscribe to our eNews

Sign up to receive news on what is happening in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved | National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)