They say year 12 is hard but to be quite frank, I didn’t understand. I had accelerated a year 12 subject in year 11 and it was fine, so surely it couldn’t be that bad? It turns out it was.

VCE students have endured a year like no other.

VCE students have endured a year like no other. Credit:Jason South

I didn’t have much difficulty at the beginning of the year. I had plenty of motivation. I was determined to do well, full of many hopes for my final year at school. Stress was unavoidable but it was easy to manage when I could see my friends. There was also a lot to look forward to; 18ths, our final swimming and athletic carnivals, getting our year 12 jackets, the special graduation assembly.

Until lockdown. It was in the final week of term one and I still had a SAC to do, which ended up being done online. Remote learning was ridiculously awkward the first time. I hated turning my camera on and hated unmuting myself because there would inevitably always be background noise. Asking teachers questions became so much more terrifying; it felt like the whole class was listening in on your dumb queries.

It may sound stupid to describe the effect that this had on me, but it’s how I felt. So, I stopped asking questions and would just fade into the background. It was physically tiring to sit in the same place each day. The difficulty in concentrating was indescribable. But it was OK, I mainly got the work done. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for teachers too.

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