Class of 2020 – Reflections Part IV
In their final week of school, in their final English lesson ever, the Class of 2020 were asked to reflect on their time at Kirrawee High School. To stop and think about all the great things they’ve experienced and achieved at KHS, what they are proud of, what they will remember, what they would rather forget, and how they have seen themselves grow. Some students chose to write to their Year 7 selves, imparting words of wisdom as they have seen their time at Kirrawee High School come…and go.
As we prepare to welcome the 2021 Year 7 cohort who will, in the blink of an eye, graduate to be the KHS Class of 2026, we conclude our four-part Reflections series with the call to ‘Be Yourself’. As our graduating Year 12 students looked back on their time at high school, a strong recurring theme of their reflections was advice to “stop caring what others thought” and to always “be yourself”.
These final words of wisdom from the Class of 2020 are shared in the hope that it will encourage our beginning Year 7 students, and all of our students, to simply be true to yourselves. Pursue your interests, make yourself proud, and allow others to be themselves too.
“To have experienced such a formative stage of my life in a school like Kirrawee is a blessing I will carry with me for life. During my junior years of high school, I was eager to fit in, be popular and to stand out for all the wrong reasons. Yet now, in my last week of school, I am full of contentment to have grown into acceptance of my true self: to truly appreciate the people around me, both in my cohort, and my teachers, who have created a home for me at Kirrawee High School”.
“Over my past 6 years at Kirrawee High School I have learnt not just the syllabus in the classroom but also other lessons like resilience, that hard work pays off, decision making, and that change is inevitable. These lessons have helped me adapt and grow to be the person I am today. There were a lot of ups and downs during my schooling, but they all helped me to achieve my personal best.
My advice to people starting school is to always be true to yourself and respect others, be kind and smile and don’t limit yourself to one friendship group.”
Arabella de Nett:
“I think back to the early days when we used to care what others thought about us and only doing what we think would be popular. I even remember we were embarrassed to say we had to leave class to go to debating because we didn’t want to be thought of as “nerdy”. But, you know what? We are nerdy and embracing that has opened up so many incredible opportunities and friendships.
If I could have given myself one piece of advice back when we started high school would be to stop caring what others think sooner because I can only dream of the possibilities I missed.”
“To my Year 7 self:
The advice I would give to you, and I know this sounds cheesy, but always be yourself.
Don’t be afraid to be different and enjoy things that aren’t so typical. Always be open about who you are and don’t follow in the footsteps of others, just to fit in or hide your true self. Don’t be embarrassed about your differences, embrace them because those things are the things that make you special.
Now throughout your school life, you will struggle with many things and have a few lows. But you are powerful and resilient. Always remember to surround yourself with people that will help bring you up, not bring you down. Always respect yourself. There will be some people that make you feel ashamed and feel like a horrible person, but all you need to do is pay them no mind.
And remember, most of all, be proud of who you are and always, always be yourself.
From your Year 12 self.”
“Be careful about trying to achieve the high school experience. I think I was guilty of trying to get the perfect high school life. I took in what I saw other people had done before me and how people talked about what they did in high school and I got stuck chasing that image. Too late I realised that the high school experience is extremely personal and you shouldn’t try to do things that fit in with that image, but rather go with the flow. I wish I had realised this in younger years when I tried to be popular, as cringe as that sounds, and I wish I just hung out with my actual friends and just did my own thing.”