My Story - Mackenzie Yandell
Posted: 19-Jun-2019

Addicted to Rowing...

My name is Mackenzie Yandell and I was born in Daylesford, before moving to Ballarat. I am part of an average-sized family, with two sisters, both of whom have or are still attending Damascus College. However, my extended family, my Damascus family, is quite extensive … as a Year 7 student, my teachers have always known me simply because my dad, Mr Nick Yandell, works at Damascus. Many people expect this to come with many benefits, however, I am here to let you all in on a secret; this is simply not the case, especially so when dad stopped bringing his wallet to school, and “borrowing” money for lunch became a much greater struggle. That said, he is very useful for filling me in on gossip whenever I miss a day, plus he can actually operate PAM, so that is a real help. I have attended Damascus for all of my high school years, and my parents chose Damascus for obvious reasons, as my older sister went here and, obviously, my dad works here; yet, it also offered my family the best option available for my education.

During my time as a little Year 8, I was roped into rowing by a couple of friends to strengthen my fitness. However, since then, I have become almost addicted to the sport, and it has become a large part of who I am today. Receiving the position of Captain of Boats meant a lot to me, as it was something to which I aspired since I began rowing. This year, being my final season, the Head of the Lake rowing regatta was a big part of my focus, as I wanted to represent my school as best I could, and we placed second by a mere 2.55 seconds. I love rowing, as it has strengthened my friendships and has truly shown me what it means to work hard.

The support from our classmates meant a lot to us, and many were there to support us, despite the regatta being postponed, due to weather. It truly made me proud to be a Damascus student and to see the lengths other students would go to in support of us is something we were extremely proud of, and it meant a lot to us. This is one of the many reasons why I’m proud to be from Damascus, as we support each other in all endeavours, whether it be theatrical, academic or sporting.

In school, I’m a bit of a Maths nerd, choosing all three available Maths and Physics subjects or, as I have been told, “just applied math.” I simply enjoy finding solutions and I find the concept of numbers and their use in our real world fascinating. I have many fond memories from school and, even though it seems as though there is still so much school to go, the idea of it ending does still make me sad.

Outside of school, other than rowing, I enjoy soccer, listening to music and, occasionally, a bit of PS4. Unfortunately, even with my love of music, I have absolutely zero musical ability, so I leave that to the professionals and to my talented friends and peers, who are far more musically talented than I am.

After school, I wish to dive right into university. I am currently considering doing Engineering or Applied Mathematics. It has been a dream of mine to study overseas, specifically Germany. After university, I would love to specialise in mechanical or renewable engineering, as I wish to make a difference in our world and to help the development of projects that will further the development of people as a sustainable society.

If I could tell my Year 7 self anything, it would be to relax a bit, as school is only as hard as you let it be, no matter what year you are in. If you focus on the stress instead of the fun, that’s all it will become to you.

Mackenzie Yandell, Year 12 student


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