use the skills I learned while teaching.”
The award was a lot of hard work, says De Rijk. De Rijk calls work and studies a guiding beacon, and the new award a good addition to a growing CV – especially in the challenging field of academics. “It’s not something I set out to achieve. I came into the degree promising myself that I would apply myself fully.” “Before I embarked on my studies, someone told me that you have to approach varsity like a bull: keep pushing and never give up. I believe I have applied this advice, and it has paid off.” “I also enjoy reading, especially novels,” says De Rijk. “A love of reading can go a long way when most of your course consists of reading, and I don’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t love reading or think that a book was the most appropriate gift or reward!” Inspiration has come from many other sources other than this advice, including from teachers at Assumption Convent School, where De Rijk matriculated in 2009. “Staff at Assumption are the ones who took the first steps in developing me as an academic. Those are the teachers that laid the foundations – and they deserve acknowledgment for that.” When asked for a motto, De Rijk gives up the following: “Being broken doesn’t mean it’s over: It just means that you can choose the best pieces as a foundation to rebuild a better version of yourself.” De Rijk hopes to see a future with more accessible mental health, provided by qualified mental health professionals – and is willing to put in the hard work and dedication that it takes to achieve it.
SHENE DE RIJK HAS BEEN AWARDED THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG (UJ) FACULTY PRIZE FOR THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT FOR 2019.
with a psychologist, there is often not a follow-up – and a follow- up is crucial.” De Rijk refers to therapy as a journey that requires a person with adequate training to accompany this journey from start to end. “In South Africa, there should also be training of multilingual professionals so that people can receive therapy in their language.” Important, De Rijk says, for a diverse nation like ours. De Rijk is also choosing the pursuit of an honour’s degree in philosophy. “This way, I can feed my love of learning, practise my favourite academic discipline, and
mental health professionals to deal with both victims and perpetrators, it could contribute to a more mentally healthy society.” De Rijk hopes to see mental health assistance available to more people in more communities and aims to achieve this through careful practice. “If we could at the very least lessen the impact of violence, we could reduce it through work with perpetrators, too,” says De Rijk, emphasising the importance of seeing more mental health professionals trained in the future.
“Even if people do have a session
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