Student Life

Don’t let your high school grades hold you back …

My year 12 senior certificate looks something like this…

  • Limited Achievement
  • Limited Achievement
  • Sound Achievement
  • Very Limited Achievement
  • Limited Achievement
  • Sound Achievement
  • Sound Achievement

I wish I was kidding when I say that I graduated high school in the bottom 2% state-wide.

My OP score was so bad, it was a running joke in my family for a while.

Despite this, I became the first person in my family to ever finish year 12 (I finished, I graduated, not sure if I technically passed though…!)

Many years later I decided I was ready to give this “learning thing” another go, mainly for my career. I managed to gain entry to QUT on the basis of my work history (because let’s face it, my OP score wasn’t getting me in) and enrolled in a dual degree: Bachelor of Business (Management) and Psychology, officially becoming the first person in my family to ever go to university. As someone who was married, working and also studying full time, my initial goal? Just to pass.

My very first lecture was BSB110 Accounting and Kevin Plastow was the lecturer. I’ll never forget sitting in the lecture theatre and one of the first things Kevin ever said was: “You need to treat university like a full time job. For each unit, you should study at least eight hours.” Eight hours?!? How was I going to get through this?!???!!! (Hint: With lots of planning and time management).

I received a lot of support from QUT School of Business and took every opportunity to attend the 4S sessions with Graham Klaassen, I booked appointments before work to see the Student Learning Advisors and often dropped in to see lecturers/unit coordinators during assignment times to make sure I was on track. But most importantly, I made some amazing friends during my Business degree and my Psychology degree. Making friends with others in my lectures and tutorials gave me the opportunity to bounce ideas around regarding assignments and form study groups, which helped my learning and served as a great source of social support during times of university stress (because they get it!)

I worked hard at structuring my time around study, assignments, lectures, tutorials, work and marriage. It wasn’t easy and I’ll admit I missed some social events here and there. For four years, I gave it everything I had. If I didn’t do as well as I thought I had on an assignment or exam, I always approached the markers/unit coordinators and asked for additional feedback. I used the feedback to improve for the next assignment, and the next, and the next…

Come graduation day, there I was. The first in my family to not only finish high school, but to also finish university – a dual degree no less! And the icing on the cake? Being the recipient of the Australian Institute of Management Prize for the best overall performance for the Bachelor of Business (Management) for 2015. (Sweet, sweet, academic redemption).

So this is to anyone out there, no matter how good or bad you did at school, I’m here to tell you… Anything is possible! Go for it!



Bachelor of Business (Management) / Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours Psychology)


  1. Avatar

    Brilliant Becky your an inspiration!!! Congratulations on reaching past the sky’s ‘limit’ may the universe now be yours to explore in confidence

  2. Avatar

    Admire your endeavor to success.Hope you will do well in your career.Karen must be very proud of you and so does your family .All the best for the future.

  3. Avatar
    Jane Smith Reply

    Rebecca Langdon – as a fellow university student I truly enjoyed working with you. You are driven, intelligent, committed and caring. No matter what you set your mind to, you will always be amazing. A well deserved award,

    • Avatar

      Thanks Jane, you were an awesome team member, I learned a lot from your experience in Project Management. Thank you for your kind words, all the best with the rest of your degree!

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