A year 12 student’s perspective on how COVID-19 has impacted their most important year of high school

Year 12 is arguably your most important year of high school. So, with COVID-19 having a large impact on many students’ final year of school, what has it been like for those who have had their year impacted by the virus? (Image Source: Highschool Australia)

By Alexandra Bull@ally_bull19

Year 12 is the most important year of your high school education, but with the COVID-19 social distancing rules, face-to-face classes for many students and schools are no longer possible.

For those who have completed year 12, you will know how important the school year is for students, not just academically, but also with social aspects like school formals, retreats, and sports carnivals – just to name a few.

Jade Pulitano is one of the thousands of year 12 students whose final year of school has been impacted by COVID-19.

The transition – not just for year 12 students, but school students in general – has been a difficult one.

“It has been harder to communicate with teachers one-on-one, as we can no longer see our teachers face-to-face, and the technical difficulties that tend to happen can sometimes be hard to deal with,” Jade said.

With many subjects being practical, such as textiles, physical education and food technology, it has made completing assignments and lessons very difficult. Not everybody has the technology and equipment to complete practical subjects at home.

“I am unable to do any practical work for subjects such as food technology, textiles and nutrition unless I have access to the right equipment,” Jade said.

Jade is in the same boat as students who are studying practical-based subjects.

“I feel as though I have done more work at home, but only because I don’t have a lot else to do … we can’t go outside and see our friends,” she said.

Whilst some schools are completely online, some are still allowing students to attend, if they would like to.

Most of these students have parents who work either in the health sector or full-time and are unable to supervise their children at home.

“At the moment we do not have the option to go to school if we would like, as it is more of a waiting game to see when we get to go back to school,” Jade said.

Learning online for most students will be a first. But with many students so well-versed with technology, it is interesting to see that many students still prefer in-person learning.

“I prefer face-to-face learning because I prefer the more practical side of learning as I enjoy it more than writing an essay,” Jade said.

There is also the social side of year 12 that many students have missed out on this year.  This includes formals, athletics and swimming carnivals, and performing arts festivals.

Many of us past students can agree these activities are what students look forward to during their final year of school.

“Year 12 is a big year for different events such as sports carnivals and formal school events, and most of these have been cancelled, and many students in the year level are getting a sense of missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Jade said.

“For my school, our sports and swimming carnivals still went ahead because they were scheduled before COVID-19 hit Australia. Our year 11 and 12 formal has been cancelled though, and we do not know if it is going to be rescheduled.

“Formal being cancelled is hard for a lot of us because many of us have bought dresses and put deposits down on appointments, but [we] understand it has been done for our safety.”

For Jade, she is seeing the positive side of not having to attend classes in-person.

“It is fun to be online in a sense, because it is a new experience and I don’t have to change into a uniform every day, it is quite convenient in a way,” she said.

“Not having to leave the house every day is great, because it means that I get to sleep in a little bit longer,” Jade added, which I am sure we can all relate to.

Term 2 resumes on April 27, with many schools trialling online learning for the first two weeks whilst waiting for further COVID-19 updates from the government.

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