My name is Greta, and I'm currently studying year 12 VCE at Bendigo Senior Secondary, which has obviously taken quite a turn in the past few weeks, with all our studies now being completed online as of Wednesday.
This first week has certainly been a challenge, simply in adapting to what the online classes look like and trying to develop healthy study and work habits completely from a home environment.
So far I've worked out lots of Easter eggs and walks around the block seem to do the trick and keep me focused.
I think that one of the biggest challenges of online learning seems to be maintaining the same amount of motivation to complete schoolwork, especially since our formal VCAA assessment, always so clear and straight forward, is now obviously altered and quite ambiguous.
Also, the friendly smiles to your peers and passing conversations to your mates as you walk between classes, and even simply just that change of environment of different classrooms throughout the day, is something we absolutely took for granted in how much it reinforced effective learning.
I also miss the social aspect of school - recess and lunches, the inside jokes, the fun and simplicity of it.
My dog so far has filled this role and although she's cute as heck, she doesn't have a lot to say about much at all.
I do think however that through this all, we need to remember how incredibly fortunate we are as Australians to have the opportunity to gain such a comprehensive education.
And if that education looks like amusing FaceTime's with your class and online lesson plans for the foreseeable future, then we continue to be grateful and make the most out of it all.
Our schooling and way of life has certainly changed dramatically this year. We have begun term two with online classes through video calls and lots of emails from teachers.
It is certainly very different experiencing remote learning and working from home, not having to wake up earlier to catch the bus, wearing casual clothes every day and completing my classes from the desk in my bedroom.
It's hard and lonely not being around friends and classmates, relying on our social media to discuss classwork and help each other out.
I personally find this new system much easier. Being a very independent learner, this way of learning helps me to be more productive and allows me much more free time, while also relieving stress being able to complete tests and SACs from the comfort of home.
However, there is a lot of uncertainty at this time, which is quite unsettling for year 12s. We are not 100 per cent sure about what the rest of the year, our exams and our graduation will look like.
It's also upsetting that we are missing out on so many of our 'lasts' - things like our school's Caritas celebrations at the end of term one, our Easter and Anzac Day school services, and possibly other events later in the year.
Many of us will be moving for gap years or university next year, so missing out on possibly our last experiences of our town's and our families' celebrations around these events is also sad.
Overall, we are all trying to make the best of this new and different way of schooling and living and trying to support each other wherever possible.
A first full day of remote online learning complete. The day started with an online meeting with mentor teachers to talk to us about what is happening with our schooling and how our term will progress via remote learning.
Filling out documents about the usage of laptops and if we have internet connection at home, and how teachers can support us in this new way of learning. Our college is using various resources to connect with and ensuring that students have a variety of ways to learn.
It is difficult without the support of peers and friends. Not being able to turn to your friend next to you in maths class to find out their solutions and answer the questions.
There is stress because of the unknown. Everything that we have learnt for the past 12 years during primary and secondary school is now different.
Teachers have been supportive because it is a different system. Working from home is very different, not being in class with peers and the teacher teaching the class. However, using Google Meets we are still interacting as a class.
I study one of my subjects via Distance Education, therefore, I have a bit of experience with being responsible for my education.
I personally find this new system of remote learning easier, because I am an independent learner. This way of learning helps me to be more productive and allows me much more free time and being able to complete work at my own pace.
Are you a year 12 student who would like to share your experience of studying during a pandemic? Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
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