The year so far has truly been a surreal experience, especially considering this year is meant to be our final year, our push to finish line. The spread of COVID-19 evolved into a serious matter in Australia toward the end of term 1. As a school and in line with government guidelines QACI implemented the practice of social distancing and good hand hygiene into our daily lifestyle to assist in slowing the spread of the virus. As the uncertain times approached more students stayed home and our school grounds became emptier as Term 1 came to an end. For students in Year 12 this was around the time our school jerseys were supposed to arrive however given all the external factors that were starting to eventuate, the time of delivery was postponed.
In Australia it was a sheer grace of luck that we ventured into the Australian two-week Easter break enabling us to be safe at home with family during the main period of isolation, spending our first term holidays slowing down and finding new ways of connecting and communicating with our friends.
Following the 2-week isolation period – aka school break, Queensland schools were required to commence Term 2 learning from home for the first five weeks of the term. Students were having online classes, with QACI using the platform iSEE for our virtual online learning. We found ourselves experimenting with features, finding new fun ways of interacting virtually in the 3D environment with each other. Personally, I missed seeing my friends and interacting with them in real life, so if it wasn't for this technology, I felt it would be pretty lonely.
Because online classes started right after holidays, it was initially really hard to stay focused - I'm sure I'm not the only one who was still in the holiday mindset when we all started Term 2. I tried to be productive but at the same time felt too relaxed. It felt good to have more time and it's amazing not needing to travel two hours a day can reduce the stress levels! With additional time, there was more time for us to develop new skills or hobbies at home.
Now that Year 12 has been invited back to school, it felt like the time just flew by. Students in Year 12 have moved from being at home, doing online classes and we will now begin our preparation for mock exams and final examinations, of course after finishing our Internal Assessments. It is nice to feel like life is starting to return to normal and absolutely wonderful that we can see our friends in person again.
Although this is still a troubling time for the world outside, I am finding myself able to and wanting to spend more time with my family and I am so appreciative of this. I've heard stories that some classes of 2020 internationally will graduate without being able to have their proper goodbyes and final rites of passage, so I'm really grateful that in Australia, we may still get this opportunity.
Being back at school, I've learnt to savour the times I have with friends, especially because it is our final year together at school. Whatever the situation will unfold to be, this period will be a memorable time for different reasons for the class of 2020 across the world.
…article written by Rachel Yee – Year 12