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Thursday, 06 August 2020

Silver Linings

By Nevie Peart, Aged 17

Youth Opinion

Posted 23rd June 2020

My name is Nevie Peart, and I am in year 12 at the Australian Science and Mathematics School. I live in a homestay in Adelaide so I can study in the city, and I go home to rural SA on weekends and holidays.

School is fast-paced, interactive and very collaborative, so it was a huge challenge to adjust to learning from home during the pandemic, especially because I had very limited internet coverage.

At first, I was driving half an hour to get internet access and downloading all my lesson materials. My teachers were sending me packages with printed worksheets and instructions for my classes, but I could rarely join the class call.

It wasn’t all bad though – despite the difficulty joining online lessons, I became more independent during my two months learning from home, and I am now much more in tune with my own needs and priorities.

It was a chance for me to put my mental health first, recognise when I need a break from studying, and spend time connecting with my family.

I worked to my own timetable, took breaks when I needed them, and spent a lot of time in my garden – and my grades improved. I settled into a routine and found myself really enjoying my schoolwork again.

The hardest thing for me was being so disconnected from my social life. Despite the constant company of my family of seven, I was lonely. I felt out of touch with all my friends in the city, and I missed my homestay, who have welcomed me into their family during my three years living with them.

I found my silver lining in all the confusion of the pandemic. Yes, I was cut off from my friends and homestay family, but I was also lucky enough to have a large family to keep me company.

Yes, I struggled to join my online lessons, but I have become more independent and more in tune with my own needs as a result. I learnt valuable life skills which I know will greatly benefit my future.

The world is still crazy, but I am grateful I had two months to slow down and take a much-needed breath.

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