Embracing Academic Rigour and Personal Growth: The A Levels Journey - St Andrew's College

Embracing Academic Rigour and Personal Growth: The A Levels Journey

Debating at the Merrifield Tournament
March 6, 2024
SWIMMING: The Bushman’s River Mile
March 11, 2024
Debating at the Merrifield Tournament
March 6, 2024
SWIMMING: The Bushman’s River Mile
March 11, 2024

Embracing Academic Rigour and Personal Growth: The A Levels Journey

Embarking on the Cambridge International A Levels Programme is akin to stepping into a realm of intellectual exploration and personal discovery. I recently caught up with Jonathan Shema, a driven final-year law student at King’s College London, who shared his insightful reflections on his A Levels experience at St Andrew’s College, shedding light on its advantages and the invaluable lessons he learned along the way.

At school, Jonathan pursued a stimulating blend of subjects, including History, English Literature, and English Language. Regarding his subject selection, he remarked, “I got to understand the world around me better. History taught me about the times that shaped where we are today. English Literature and English Language fed my passion for creative writing and art through loads of time spent understanding how the best communicators use language to get their message across.” Jonathan, in his modesty, glosses over the fact that he achieved an impressive A* for English Literature and an A for English Language as well as History.

Beyond the classroom, Jonathan was an avid debater, a member of the Model United Nations, as well as the Head of Merriman House (2020). He was active in contributing towards key Transformation and Diversity forums and focussed his time on mentoring younger pupils. On Saturdays, he could also be found at Grahamstown’s local Park Run.

Jonathan candidly discussed the challenges he encountered during the A Levels journey, emphasising the substantial workload and the demanding standards of examination. Reflecting on these challenges, he shared, “The workload – adjusting to A-Levels – was really difficult. The reading is more, and the standard of examination is difficult to reach.”

Today, Jonathan is currently pursuing an LLB at King’s College London, leveraging the skills honed during his A Levels journey. He emphasised how A Levels prepared him for his tertiary studies, stating, “It taught me how to read long pieces of text and form opinions, critiques, and arguments.”

However, Jonathan is more than an aspiring commercial lawyer with a particular interest in intellectual property law. He is currently Vice President of King’s IT & IP Law Society as well as a freelance social media journalist for Sky Sports, highlighting his diverse talents and interests. With experiences spanning digital marketing internships in the UK and Uganda, Jonathan has been able to bring a multicultural perspective to his endeavours, allowing him to communicate, adapt, connect, and collaborate effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Jonathan highlighted how A Levels primed him for the rigours of university education, particularly in his law studies. He emphasised, “The increased workload is like a quarter of what university is. It was a necessary exposure to extensive self-work.”

Jonathan imparted valuable advice to our current matriculants (one of whom is his younger brother, Timothy Mwesigwa), encouraging them to cherish their high school experience and expressing gratitude for the opportunities afforded to them. He urged them to embrace the diversity of educational paths available and to recognize the transformative power of embracing challenges with resilience and determination.

In conclusion, Jonathan Shema’s A Levels journey exemplifies the transformative potential of academic rigour and personal growth. Through diligent perseverance and a commitment to self-discovery, he navigated the challenges of the programme and emerged equipped with the skills and mindset necessary to thrive in higher education and beyond. As our Cambridge International A Level matriculants embark on their educational odyssey, Jonathan’s insights serve as a guiding beacon, illuminating the path to success and fulfilment.