Year 12 2020- The year I didn’t see coming

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The overall experience of isolation due to COVID-19 has been an especially interesting one, for me and most people in Australia. The experience is a world first, as we take precautions to better our future in this country with complete safety.

The intense precautions the world was forced to adapt in all areas, including remote learning for students, made for an extraordinarily weird situation that has changed our society for generations to come.

At first, I was extremely worried about remote learning during my HSC year, it took a very long time to get used to and there were many positives and negatives that came with it.

I did particularly enjoy the later wake-up times and not having to take the one hour of public transport to school every day, however, the challenges to do with proper communication between teachers and students was a growing struggle. Students had to conform to the reality of change and began to work together more than I have ever seen before using emails to readjust on the communication front.

Dealing with the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, was a struggle, yet I am proud of my friends and the teachers who have worked incredibly hard during this time limiting the effects of COVID-19 on students.

“I am proud of my friends and the teachers who have worked incredibly hard during this time.”

There is no doubt that in this current world they are student’s heroes.

My experience at home during special occasions such as Easter and Mother’s Day was a strange one. Not going to church and zoom calling my extended family was a chaotic mess, but in an unpredictable way, I enjoyed it and it has changed the way my family communicates with each other for the better.

St. Mary’s Cathedral College Captain Matthew Lorente. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Now we students transition back into ordinary life, travelling to school every day and learning as usual. It is strange getting a seat on the train every morning, seeing cleaners regularly around, cafe’s and shops closed and a city practically empty.

It is an experience I will never forget and it’s interesting to think that in fifty years’ time, students much like myself may be studying this situation because of its global impact.

A friend of mine Jennifer Kim said “it’s saddening to see how the whole world has been affected (by the pandemic), but also uplifting to see everyone working together and supporting one another in amongst this difficult time”

Being St. Mary’s Cathedral College Captain has been a great privilege, however, during this time the prefects and I have missed out on major events during the calendar year. We unfortunately missed out on Edmund Rice day, our school concert, and could possibly our formal and possibly the athletics carnival.

For students in the past, these events are what made their year such a great one, yet I would argue the class of 2020 has grown stronger and more together during this time.

“the class of 2020 has grown stronger and more together during this time.”

On multiple occasions I have seen mates, friends and acquaintances check up on each other assuring each other everything is going ok. To me, this exemplifies the true friendship that is being formed in schools across the country, as people put others in front of themselves during a time that for some people can be an extreme battle within themselves.

This year so far has not been one that I expected it to be. They say being eighteen years old during your graduation is the best time of your life, this year many would argue that this is an exception.

The hurt within people across the world is something that will weigh on us for a very long time, but we will continue to move forward during a time of struggle, learning from our mistakes and ensuring this pandemic never happens again.

Our schools will continue to teach, the HSC will still be on and for me, year 12 will still be one of the best years of my life.