The journey matters as much as the destination
Last week we were privileged to hear from the students awarded as Dux of Year 12. Each girl spoke of her journey, drawing on her personal experiences, the culture of learning at Walford, the importance of balance and refreshingly, the emphasis on being immersed in the journey and being open to all of life’s lessons along the way. We share here some excerpts of the speeches delivered.
“In my opinion, life (and school) is much more akin to going for a nice walk. You fall, you pick yourself back up again with a few scuffs and bruises, and you keep going. You also don’t go on a walk to finish it. The destination might be the same as your neighbour, but the journey – the changing scenery, the lessons you learn, and the people you meet – will only ever be uniquely yours.
One of my major regrets about schooling is, for a long time, not realising that the journey is also so important – especially in earlier schooling, sticking steady to the road all the way to grades-town, without taking time to wander off the path and take in the moment.
Girls – if I had one piece of advice to give to you as an ex-student, it would be to not take the huge privilege it is to go to a school like Walford for granted. Not just the support in achieving grades, though the destination is important, but in the way of education for education’s sake, personal development, and extra-curricular activities. We’ve all been given such a rare and fantastic opportunity to grow into the person we’ll be, in a free and non-judgemental environment, and it’s likely there won’t be another opportunity quite like this.
So, my advice is, when the ground is level, go off the road a bit, take the path less travelled by. Go out and take the risks and opportunities presented to you, because now’s your best chance to make the most of the huge range of resources at your disposal and start these things. One of the most commonly held regrets by those that have left school is not learning a musical instrument when they were younger. Challenge yourself and join debating or newspaper committee, sign up for the UN youth state conference or tournament of minds. Those kinds of things can be life changing. If international politics and global issues concern you, International Club is a bit of a hidden gem. The skills and experiences gained through these will stay with you for the rest of your life and career. So – why not?”
Kaitlin Beddome (Year 12, 2016)
“Looking back on my school years, what I remember most are the amazing experiences that I had in co-curricular activities, rather than my grades. My best memories from Walford include school camps, house events and the Chinese cultural exchange in year 9. This trip is one of my fondest memories and I still cannot believe how I managed to survive in a homestay when I spoke next to no Chinese. It is so important to immerse yourself in co-curricular activities, particularly in the younger years because you may not be lucky enough to have these opportunities again.
I found it beneficial to participate in activities that I enjoyed such as sport and choir. It’s important to have a good balance of study and leisure throughout the senior years of school but don't be too ambitious with your load. Now we have some tips for the senior school girls, particularly the year 12s. I found that the most useful tip I received in high school was to stay as organised as possible. Use a term planner or your school diary to keep track of everything including tests, due dates for assignments and co-curricular activities. Get plenty of sleep during the term. I managed to get at least 9 hours of sleep each night throughout year 12 by not relying on late nights to study. Try to keep designated time free to rest (not sleep) and allow your brain to absorb the information you're learning. Keep an eye on your physical, mental and emotional health, its easy to become complacent in these areas when so much else is going on. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it, from teachers, family or friends. That’s what they're there for.
Another piece of advice for students beginning year 12 is to remember to keep your priorities in mind. Sometimes it may feel like schoolwork should take up all of your time, but don’t lose sight of the most important things in your life like keeping in touch with family and friends and staying healthy in all aspects. Something else that I learnt over year 12 was to not compare myself to others. It’s impossible to be perfect with your study schedule, and I found that I always ended up doing less study than I had planned, which I had to accept. Year 12 is not just about study, make sure you enjoy the year and savour all of the ‘last’ experiences and let yourself have fun.
Remember that your ATAR is not the be all and end all, there are many pathways available to get to where you want to go. We wish the year 12s the best of luck for this year and try to make the most of it, don't forget to enjoy yourself. Feel free to contact us through Facebook if you have any further questions, we’d be happy to help. Once again, thank you for having us here today and for the honour of this award.
Tegan Jones and Philippa Tsirgiotis (Year 12, 2016)
17 February 2017 | 0 Comments | Tags: