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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

From Hilton College to Yale: Inside Khanya Mhlongo’s inspiring journey

Mhlongo said he was most excited about connecting with intelligent and interesting people at Yale

Hilton College is beaming with pride after one of their own, Khanya Mhlongo, received an offer to study Economics at Yale university.

Khanya’s journey from being the deputy head of school at Hilton College to securing a place at one of the prestigious Ivy league universities is a testament to his hard work, determination and the unwavering support he received from Hilton College community.

“My initial reaction was utter disbelief to be honest”

Khanya told The Citizen he was in “utter disbelief” when he heard that he had been accepted.

“My initial reaction was utter disbelief to be honest. I had to read the letter of acceptance a few times over to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. This was followed by immense gratitude,” he said.

He said his family, friends and the Hilton College staff played a big part in his success.

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“Both of my parents were very excited when I told them. It feels good to be able to make them proud after all the support they’ve given me.”

Mhlongo said he was most excited about connecting with intelligent and interesting people at Yale.

“In the age of the internet, access to information is fairly decentralised but communities of driven and visionary people like Yale are still rare. I look forward to connecting with classmates over the four years and making lifelong friendships.”

A springboard for success

The college’s director of advancement, Pete Storrar, said the school was immensely proud of Khanya and they expected nothing less from him.

“We are very proud of him, but this was not unexpected given the type of person he is. Khanya has always been hardworking and ambitious,” said Storrar.

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“The exams have been written and the results recorded”

The pupils at Hilton prepare for matric examinations throughout high school. This is done to prevent them from overcompensating in their Matric year or during the six weeks leading to and during their exams.

Mhlongo will be among the thousands of students who will get their Matric results this week, it can be an anxious time for many but he believes they should just be calm.

“The exams have been written and the results recorded, these are no longer within your control but your mind still is,” said Khanya.

ALSO READ: Here’s how to get your matric results this week, including right here!

Many others will be writing Matric this year, Mhlongo encouraged them to work hard and work smart.

“Give off your absolute best for a year, leaving nothing behind to haunt you. Learn to hate the questions, ‘What if?’ ‘If only I had,’ ‘What could have been? Don’t insult yourself with anything less than your best.”

Storrar added matriculants should remember that exams are just one small part of the journey.

“Matric is not about the six weeks of exams, it is rather about the five years experience given to the learners,” said Storarr.

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“It is about the people you meet and the experiences you have.”

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