Rugby and achieving academic excellence

Arts graduate Arden Perrot learnt he could make a difference not only in his own life but also in other people’s lives through education.

From failing to First Class Honours

It took a lot of hard slog, but Arden Perrot went from consistently failing at secondary school to graduating with a First Class Honours degree and receiving the Victoria Medal for Academic Excellence in 2013.

Rugby and the right path

Arden, a New Zealand-born Samoan and top rugby player, attended a college of 1,500 pupils and says he got lost in the system.

“Once you get onto that path of failing, it’s hard to climb out.”

Arden floundered for a few years after leaving school, before an intervention from his father and a stint overseas coaching rugby set him on the right path.

Family first

After returning to Wellington he accomplished a number of his rugby goals and then realised he could be the first person in his family to get a degree. He enrolled at Victoria University of Wellington, although success didn't come immediately.

“The first essay I got back was covered with red ink. I was advised to do a writing course, which helped me realise that education could be learned. I used to think you had to be born with it.”

That set Arden on a path which has turned his life around.

Waiting for believers

“I’m a different person today because university helped me to grow, to open my perspective and it shaped me as a better person in general.

“Sometimes you’ve got to wait for others to believe in you before you can believe in yourself. I’m forever thankful to the lecturers who cared about me and made the effort to help.”

Mentoring move

And Arden is relishing now helping other students.

“I became a mentor and tutor to show others how to tap into other people’s strengths and learn from them. Being able to help guys like me make a difference to their lives—to create change or insight in someone else—well, that’s been the best opportunity ever.”

Know Your Mind

“It's about being true to yourself is understanding who you are. It’s not settling for a life less than you deserve, it’s about living the life that you do deserve.

If you Know Your Mind then you know you are truly capable of doing the amazing and wonderful things you believe.”

See other students talk about their university experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.