Students reflect on the year that was meant to be

Students reflect on the year that was meant to be

In a year impacted by an international pandemic the Cowra High School's Year 12 students have been subjected to a unique learning experience.

With just under three months until they sit their first exams the students say they are looking forward to having them completed.

Year 12 student Daniel Barlow said COVID had made the classes final year "scary" but now exams were approaching it wasn't as bad.

"No one could have expected it to turn out this way," he said.

"Everything was going to plan at the end of 2019 and then we rolled into 2020 and all this happened.

"But everyone adjusted to it, we buckled down and made the best of it."

Daniel said he hadn't found it difficult switching from in school learning to at-home learning.

"For me and a few others it worked out really well we got through it and made the best of it with what we had.

"But I know for others they were stressing because they weren't prepared for it."

He said despite the difficulties COVID hadn't impacted on his post-school decisions.

"Personally I wasn't going to go to uni I was going to get my trades done, but for others, I think it has affected them it's made them think 'Am I going to make it or not'," he said.

"I've worked 13 years to get to this point and I'm not going to back down now, we've made it through so much and might as well get it done."

It was a similar mindset for fellow student Tahli Holmes who said she was looking forward to having her exams done and dusted.

"I think it's (Year 12) been harder than it was supposed to be," she said.

"During the quarantine it was great I forgot about school for a bit, I fell behind a little, but I think most people did.

"It also gave me a taste of what next year is going to be like for me, so that was good.

"But coming back was alright it's brought me back up to speed," she said.

However, for other students, COVID-19 was going to play an impact on how they proceeded at the end of the year.

Year 12 student Sean Smith said the pandemic could continue to impact him in 2021.

"I've always been set on uni, so that's a go-ahead, provided they are still open and running courses," he said.

"I might defer six months or so though to see how it goes."

He said working from home had been good and wasn't too worried about its impacts on his results.

"For me it was good, I've got pretty good internet," he said.

"But I can see how for a lot of people they would have a reason to have trouble with it.

"I don't think I'll be getting the marks I would have been getting say last year, but I think everyone will be the same so I'm not bothered."

Fellow student Luke Wilson said he had missed the structure provided by the school.

"I found during quarantine without the structure (of school) I was unproductive," he said.

"That was a real challenge.

I'm still catching up on some stuff because of how unproductive I was."

He said he would feel relieved when the exams were over and was also thinking of deferring university entrance depending on how the pandemic continued.

One student Elliot Roberts said his year group were lucky to be rural students.

"I think we've been very lucky where we are, Cowra's far enough away and small enough that we haven't had any cases," he said.

"It's been unfair for Year 12 students who live in cities because they have to deal with it on a larger scale than we do and are still continuing to do so.

"Ultimately I just hope we can get hold of it again and things can start being a bit normal for everyone."