National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Imké Schamrel is studying medicine

Imké Schamrel is studying medicine at Stellenbosch University. She attended Wesvalia High School in Klerksdorp, North West Province.

 “An achiever is defined as a person who achieves a high or specified level of success.

Tell us a bit about your school?

I went to school in Klerksdorp. I was in Wesvalia High School. I am very grateful for being blessed with such an amazing high school experience, and it is all thanks to the teachers and staff of the school. Wesvialia really provides a lot of opportunities for everyone; they put a lot of effort into a lot of different aspects of our lives. There is always something for everyone to do, so everybody can be part of something that they love. The teachers always walked a few extra miles to make sure that we got what we needed, and that we felt comfortable with our knowledge and skills in the things we must do. They also put a lot of time into developing different aspects of our characters and interests.

Why do you think some people have a problem with math and science? What would you do to solve the problem?

I think it comes down to an honest question that the person must ask themselves. Can’t I do it, or don’t I want to do it? You see, it is very easy to say we cannot do something if we do not want to do it, but I believe that if someone has the ability to do math and science then they should make a mind shift, and choose to put the effort in, work hard and make it fun for themselves. It will not be easy, but by just thinking better about it, and seeing the subjects in a positive light instead of a negative light will make the world’s difference.

Why did you enjoy science and maths?

I enjoyed the challenge. I love analysing and solving problems, so I think that math and science really stimulated my brain to think in different ways, analyse different methods and use the most efficient method to get to what is needed.

What inspires you?

Life, living, small things that we do not always see in the rush of life. I like to find inspiration in things throughout the day, whether it’s someone being passionate about what they love, or just the sun doing its job by coming up in the morning and setting again at night. I think that inspiration can be found in everything if we just look a little while longer or a little bit deeper.

Why did you choose the course you are studying?

Ever since I can remember I have had this longing, this undeniable urge to help people. I believe that we are all different, and we all have different skills that help us to live out our unique purpose. I also believe that each one of us has a calling from the Lord, and He enables us to follow this dream, and gives us the necessary tools that we will need in order to live out this calling. I really think that my purpose in life is to make a permanent positive change is people’s lives. I think that it is my duty to help the people who cannot help themselves. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to study medicine because this will equip me to be able to live out my purpose.

A message to South African youth?

The future is bright, and it is very important to think about it, but I also believe that we must focus on each day that we are blessed with. To make the best of each moment that we get, and to embrace the present, for it will determine our future.  

Any tips for learners in grades 11 and 12?

Judge each day by the seeds you plant, not by the harvest you reap

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

Be honest to yourself about what it is that lights the spark inside you. I would like to quote something that I read on a packet of sugar: “Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectation and opinion of others.” – Roy T. Bennet

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I cannot really say, but my dream is to one day improve medical equality in the world. I know it may sound a bit unrealistic, because the world is a big place, and there is a lot of inconvenient truths that I do not even know of yet. But I believe that if no one is willing to do the unseen work, then no change will ever be seen. When I think about the future, I do not really envision myself as some big, well-known surgeon, but rather a doctor who has made each patient felt heard. If being a well-known surgeon goes with that, then that would be an exciting bonus, but I don’t want my status to be the driving force behind what I do, I want the driving force to be people – my deep care for people.  

Understanding excellence – what makes an achiever?

  An achiever is defined as a person who achieves a high or specified level of success. Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. And purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. So an achiever in my eyes is someone who grasps every opportunity to find and fuel their purpose.

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