It was only 2 weeks ago that our last day of term arrived early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A strange and unusual experience for all of us. I’m sure many of us had a totally different vision of how the New Year would pan out. I, for one, certainly could not have imagined something like this happening. As a school captain this year, I envisioned that my year would include memorable moments like organizing fundraisers with the SRC team, working closely with teachers and staff members on student voice and agency, being a part of the formal committee, having my last athletics carnival, taking part in the school musical for the last time, and building strong bonds with my year 12 teachers and cohort that I would cherish forever.
Although what we may have hoped would happen didn’t, I feel as though the strength of the Bentleigh Secondary College community has immensely grown from this. I commend our wonderful teachers and staff for preparing us to deal with the adversity that we are all facing, and virtually being by our sides. Online learning has given me so many useful life skills, such as self-discipline, time management, and a deeper understanding of various communication portals that some of us don’t use so often in school and may be useful for our future. So far, my experiences with online learning have been nothing unexpected and unbearable because of our teachers and their organisation. Thank you.
Also, I am so proud of the way you, my fellow peers, are adapting and being very productive given the short amount of time we had to adjust to being at home and participating in virtual learning. It is our job as students of Bentleigh Secondary College to keep on being positive, persistent, brave, and empathetic. I know that it is easier said than done. However, as I have reached out to other family members and friends over the past few weeks, one thing that I have realised is that we should approach this unprecedented situation together, ready to learn from it. Take this time to not only keep up with the news and stay on top of schooling, but to also learn more about yourself and who you are as a person. Take this time to learn about each of your family members and the people you are living with. Take this time to reminisce about your most cherished memories, look back on photos and videos and be grateful for what we have.
I also encourage you to virtually reach out to your loved ones as a coping mechanism for yourselves and to also see how they’re going. It is so important that we stand by each other in this difficult time. I know that we will all get through this, together. So please, stay optimistic, keep striving, be appreciative of those around you, and remember that you are not alone.