YEAR 12 is often a school year filled with exciting experiences and a set of new challenges, but for the class of 2021 they have had to deal with a unique set of circumstances too.
Online learning, repeatedly rescheduled assessments and COVID vaccination discussions have all added extra elements of stress to 2021's year 12, in what is usually an already stressful year.
Stawell Secondary College vice-captain Lachie Dalkin said 2021 has been 'pretty hard' for him and his school community, but was proud of how they have navigated the challenges so far.
"It has been pretty hard. Going in and out of school and getting your head in the right space to keep focus is tough," he said.
"And you also have the social aspect, so being at home, away from friends as well.
"We have made it fun, as much as we could have, but it is not the ideal way to finish your school.
"Everyone is in the same sort of boat. It doesn't matter if you are in town or out of town, we are all in the same situation.
"It has been good to communicate with them and push each other through."
Due to lockdowns and changes to restrictions, a number assessments, including the GAT, have been rescheduled, meaning students will face a heavy workload when they return to class after the term three holidays are finished.
The Pomonal-based student said he was now preparing to face the end of year rush.
"It is pretty hard now because a heap of stuff has been pushed back to the start of the final term," he said.
"I have three SACs, the GAT and a Chinese exam, so I'll be pretty busy as soon as I get back, but I'll just be working as hard as I can to prepare myself as best as I can.
"I have been trying to work pretty hard over these holidays and in the first couple of weeks when we get back to school I'll try to do as many practise exams as possible.
"Our teachers have tried to prepare us with as many resources as possible, but we will just be working our butts off trying to get it done."
Dalkin, who was aiming to begin further study at university in 2022, also said he was managing the online learning challenge, by getting outside and socialising as much as possible, within restrictions.
"One of my normal classes is through another school, so I have been used to doing some stuff online," he said.
"It is not just hard for us, it is hard for the teachers because they have to go out of their way a lot to keep us up to date with content.
"It is tricky, but the main thing is just keeping motivated and getting up every day and doing the same thing over and over again.
"When school is finished, I just try to get outside as much as possible and give myself proper breaks.
"When school is on I just try to knuckle down as much as possible and get the work done, knowing that when it comes to the end of the day I can do whatever I want.
"We have probably missed out on a bit this year. Just being around others and having a laugh at your mates at school rather than being stuck at home by yourself.
"It has just been about trying to interact with others as much as possible, given the restrictions."
As part of the Victorian Government's COVID roadmap, schools in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria will begin a staged return to onsite learning from Wednesday October 6 (first week of term four).
From Monday October 4 (first week of Term four) Foundations to Year Two and final year students will return to onsite learning.
Further announcements will be made before the start of Term four.
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