Trails and tribulations of graduating high school in 2020

Wagga High School students maintained positive attitudes, even when almost everything out of school was being cancelled.

Wagga High School students maintained positive attitudes, even when almost everything out of school was being cancelled.

Graduating high school is a memorable year at the best of times. This year's class of 2020 tackled a year of ever-changing expectations and learning experiences. Students from the Public Schools Alliance Wagga share what their final year of high school was like during the midst of the pandemic.

Wagga Wagga High School

Mackenzie Purtill-Wright vice-captain

Tell us about your school experience this year.

Classroom learning has gone back to the new normal, face-to-face, and we get to see our friends every day. However, so many extra-curricular activities have not been allowed to go through. So, 2020 has given me greater appreciate of extra-curricular activities.

How has the year group handled the year?

We all have maintained positive attitudes, even when almost everything out of school was being cancelled and despite having such a disadvantage to our learning. I think it made us appreciate what we had before like being in a physical classroom. I think our year showed great resilience with a pandemic being thrown at us. I believe the class of 2020 will be resilient, and able to adapt to any life or world-wide adversity in the future.

What are your plans after finishing exams?

I am going to take a gap year then most likely head to Wollongong to study Environmental Science with a Major in Environmental Chemistry. I am hoping to become an environmental chemist.

Montana Dasey - captain

What changes have you loved, and which have you loathed?

I loved how the teachers at Wagga High went over and above to ensure their students were provided with the best resources and learning opportunities during this disrupted year. I didn't particularly enjoy having assembly via zoom. It was very foreign to address the school through a computer screen. I was disappointed at the missed opportunities for cultural, sporting and other community events, such as representing the school for ANZAC Day and supporting our school sporting teams.

Has this year made you rethink your career path?

Absolutely. I was originally going to take a gap year and work and possibly travel, but now with restrictions in place and such uncertainty with international and even interstate travel. I have decided to start University next year to study at degree in either Education or Business.

What did 2020 teach you?

Not take opportunities and everyday school life for granted.

Kooringal High School students shared the experience of 2020 and helped each other through the tough times.

Kooringal High School students shared the experience of 2020 and helped each other through the tough times.

Kooringal High School

Katie Harper ​- captain

Tell us about your school experience this year.

Greatly enjoyable, my day-to-day school life hasn't changed drastically. I still enjoyed classes with friends and tackled assignments as best I could. The Covid restrictions have been the back of my mind but hardly the focus.

How has the year group handled the year?

Valiantly! We all shared the experience and helped each other through the hard times. I am extremely impressed and proud of how each student has held their hard high and kept going. I honestly wouldn't have wanted to graduate in any other year.

What changes have you loved, and which have you loathed?

I have loved how connected I feel to the people around me and the new found appreciation for their company but have loathed how few parties their have been (typical teenager).

Has this year made you rethink your career path?

If anything it has deepened my passion for conservation biology. The way the science community has arisen to help with Covid research is amazing.

Ben Nosworthy - captain

How has the year group handled the year?

Everyone was a bit confused and scared at the start but over time we really bonded through the tough times and now we are stronger as people.

What changes have you loved, and which have you loathed?

I loved the new way of learning. It was a new challenge for our year. I loathed being away from friends and teachers.

Has this year made you rethink your career path?

This year has made me more confident in being an actor. Bringing joy and laughter to people inspires me to do more.

Anything else you want to mention?

Class of 2020, I wish you best of luck for all your dreams and aspirations. We have been through a lot and i Know for a fact that we have become stronger people at the end.

Mount Austin High School

Priya Collier-Caldwell - captain

Tell us about your school experience this year.

The way we learned changed. Everything moved online. We had virtual check-ins with teachers because we couldn't see them face-to-face. Once we returned to school, we had to socially distance, sanitise before entering rooms and clean desks after every lesson.

What changes have you loved, and which have you loathed?

One thing we loathed? Sanitising. All. The. Time. Seriously though, it was really hard being the first person in my family to graduate high school and my family not being able to come to the assembly. The changes in our graduation assembly were incredible though. Because not all teachers were allowed at our assembly, they made special videos to farewell us. These were so special and will stick with me.

Has this year made you rethink your career path?

This year hasn't changed what I want to do. I've wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and this year has certainly opened my eyes to the challenges faced by teachers. The constant change was hard for us, but even harder for teachers.

Luke Davis - captain

Tell us about your school experience this year.

One day we were crammed into classes writing using pens and paper, the next we were hygiene and Microsoft Teams specialists who couldn't sit next to each other. It was challenging but we had great support from teachers and school staff.

How has the year group handled the year?

Our amazing Year Advisor was a rock for us this year. Our Year Advisor and teachers helped to make this year more enjoyable and took some stresses away from us with their support. Without this support, it would have been a really tough year.

What changes have you loved, and which have you loathed?

One change I both loved and loathed was graduation. It was nice having all the teachers and support staff in the school make videos to say goodbye. Not being able to have parents see us graduate and the initial cancellation of formal was disappointing, but understandable. A formal in November will be fun.

Anything else you want to mention?

I would like to congratulate all year 12 students in Wagga on graduating in these tough times. We made it!

SHARE