CLASS OF 2020: Warwick graduates step into future
SWIMMING carnivals, assemblies, and even daily classes – in a tumultuous year of radical change, Warwick’s graduating class of 2020 say it will be the everyday moments they’ll miss the most.
Overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on their education, sports, and daily lives, hundreds of Rose City teens are now celebrating the end of their high school journey.
Students from Assumption College, Warwick State High School, and Scots PGC College today marked the occasion with a number of graduation ceremonies and events, bringing their final high school chapter to a close.
For school captain Lachlan Boal, his final year of schooling was about making the most of whole-school events such as swimming and athletics carnivals.
“Especially with Covid, we just didn’t want to take anything for granted and make sure we savour every moment of high school, because it is a pretty good time,” he said.
Fellow school captain Sophie Waples agreed. “It definitely put everything into perspective, you treasured a lot more of those times where you could bump each other on the arm, and people just wanted to connect a lot more.”
Putting together a television-style broadcast in lieu of in-person assemblies was one of the whole team’s favourite memories, especially for vice-captain Isaac Beh.
“It was so much fun – it was unexpected, it was different, and it meant we could still have fun and find ways to connect and work as a team without being face-to-face.”
Vice-captain Rani Towson agreed developing life skills was an important part of their Year 12 experience, though said the friendships made along the way were greater still.
For Scots PGC school captain Josh Bailey, struggling to overcome the ups and downs of Year 12 during a global pandemic built a stronger bond among his cohort than ever before.
“We had a period of time in which classes were sporadic, we spent a lot of time together in classrooms just conversing, and I think the time away made us really value the company of our friends,” he said.
“I think previously, in grades pass, there have been factions or groups who don’t mix, but that changed this year – everyone forgot their differences and developed this kind of empathy for each other.”
Fellow school captain Kira Holmes agreed their year level’s unity was a standout, especially at school carnivals and events, though said personal growth was equally noted.
“Everyone participated at the school carnivals, the school spirit was, I believe, stronger than ever, because everyone wanted to be together,” she said.
“A lot of personal growth happened as well though, because everything was changing so quickly and you had to learn how to adapt.”
The school leaders of Assumption College described their final days as “exciting, bittersweet, and a relief” all at once, and academic leader Hayden Doherty said the learning from home period was the most challenging.
“Obviously some rites of passage were taken away from us, but we definitely still got that Year 12 experience,” he said.
For sports leader Connor Murphy, a year full of ups and downs was about taking advantage of the once-everyday activities, including a rugby camp in Roma.
Cultural leader Tori Abood agreed it was up to each student to make the most of their year, and all students assented returning to daily classes was a 2020 highlight.
“Having people around, you didn’t realise how much you kind of need it,” religious leader Lauren Mann said.
A university pathway was the first choice for the leadership teams across all three schools, with all eagerly awaiting the release of their ATAR results on December 19.