A matric that was music to the ears
Mila Smith may have already established a successful career as a singer and songwriter, but that didn’t stop her from enjoying everything that her matric year at Herzlia had to offer. She also achieved six distinctions out of seven subjects.
“I’m passionate about singing and composing original music,” says Smith. “In spite of it being a very busy matric year, I was still able to write and collaborate with different producers as well as release my third single, Nice Guy, towards the end of 2022 in the midst of exams.
“Throughout my matric year, my teachers were supportive and understanding of my music career, and I always felt comfortable telling them if I was feeling overwhelmed.”
Her favourite subjects were history and English. “In both subjects, I was privileged to have amazing teachers who enriched the entire experience. In history, I loved learning about the past and understanding its impact on our lives. In English, I enjoyed poetry as song writing stems from that.”
She’s also passionate about social justice, “especially anti-racism initiatives and women’s rights”. She joined the school’s United African Society (UAS), and was responsible for bringing the 16-Days-of-Activism against Gender-based Violence to Herzlia. “The UAS executive also helped work on the school’s first anti-racism policy,” she says.
She’s proud to have been awarded Best All Rounder in her matric valedictory ceremony. “I was honoured to be recognised by my teachers. Releasing my single in the midst of final exams was also something I was proud of, as well as becoming captain of the U19 girls soccer team.”
She notes that “matric is a stressful, short year. There’s a lot to do, and it feels like there’s such a little time. My biggest challenge was managing time and stress, as well as giving myself enough time to rest.
“My advice to future matrics would be to take the year one day at a time. Matric is an action-packed year that comes with a lot of expectation. Listen in class, and plan your time. The more you plan, the more in control you’ll feel. It’s also vital not to compare your study processes to someone else. Go at your own pace, and don’t forget to give yourself time to relax.”
“Herzlia gives pupils a positive experience largely due to the teachers giving us adequate preparation for our final matric exams,” she says. “Every teacher offers additional one-on-one tutorials, which I made use of before finals. On top of that, there seems to be a culture of understanding amongst teachers as they know matric is a tough year. It allows us to be transparent and say if we’re feeling stressed.”
In 2023, Smith is going to study a Bachelor of Arts in media, writing and history with credits in politics and gender studies at the University of Cape Town.
She also hopes to continue her music career, do more live shows, and compose music for a film or series. “My debut EP will be released in the first quarter of 2023, which is another thing I’m looking forward to. Watch this space!”