A scholarship to Melbourne Girls Grammar School (MGGS) not only took the financial stress off Anna Roxburgh's parents but gave her and her sibling the opportunity to learn and develop independently.
Anna, who hails from Hexham in Western Victoria, joined MGGS in 2016 as a boarding student on a partial scholarship, graduating as part of the Class of 2020.
Rowing and boarding were important parts of school life for Anna and her older sister Henni, who also attended MGGS.
Anna says her time at MGGS, particularly as a boarder from a regional town, was overwhelmingly positive and still impacts her to this day.
She made friends for life, created "amazing memories", and developed social and academic skills she uses in everyday life.
One of the main things Anna discovered about herself at MGGS is how resilient and independent she is.
During my five years as a boarder, I grew so much as a person and went through so many life lessons, coming out the other side a much stronger personMelbourne Girls Grammar School student Anna Roxburgh
"During my five years as a boarder, I grew so much as a person and went through so many life lessons, coming out the other side a much stronger person," she said.
"While being a boarder, I also got a much larger appreciation for life out of my little country town. In a way, I was in a bit of a bubble, very much in my comfort zone.
"Going to MGGS pushed me out of this bubble, which helped me grow up and mature into the person I am today."
When Anna started in Year 8, she still had support from her family and the boarding house staff, but her mindset shifted to being more independent in her studies and life in general.
"Before most other girls my age, I was able to confidently make my way around Melbourne using public transport, make friends and speak to people more easily through social skills I developed in the boarding house," she said.
"I found this led to me being very capable of looking after myself, and this has been a valuable characteristic to have, especially after leaving school and having to rely on yourself more often."
The boarding house and MGGS's rowing program taught Anna about developing and maintaining routines, structuring her time and being productive throughout the day.
Anna is thankful for the way MGGS prepared her for life and for studying a Bachelor of Project Management at RMIT.
MGGS awards nine scholarships including academic, boarding, music and Indigenous annually so young women can make the most of every opportunity.