The first time I realised I was competitive was in a Year 10 Ancient History class.
I was sitting next to my best friend Renee, and we’d both received the same mark in an important test.
Our teacher, whom I worshipped and adored, came up to our desk and spoke to Renee about her mark: “I know you can do better than this. I know you are capable of more than this.”
I listened as the teacher spoke to Renee and felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had received the same mark, except the teacher wasn’t telling me I was capable of more, or that I could do better. I understood in that moment that she thought this less-than-stellar mark was all I was capable of. I felt shame, then anger, and then I felt determined.
Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Navy Submariner. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
From that day on, I put everything I had into Ancient History. I burned with ambition to be the very best student this teacher had ever had. My other subjects were okay. I was an average student at most and excelled in a handful, but it was in Ancient History specifically that I felt this…hunger. And I did it.
By the end of the year I was receiving an almost perfect score. I went on to study the highest level of the subject possible for my high school exams. I felt so proud. I could be smart, too. I could achieve great things, too. All it took was someone doubting me to shock me into action.
It was when I set my sights on a career in radio that I next felt that same hunger. I was a debater and public speaker in high school and I won a big competition, so someone suggested I should check out community radio. I visited my local and I was hooked – I just had to work in radio. That’s all there was to it. My dad didn’t get it, though. “You’ll never make it in radio,” he said. “Not many women do.”