Year 12s: flying high, daring to dream

The optimists among us might say that silver linings have been a little illusive of late... The pessimists would probably say that optimism is just a nice word for 'delusional.'

Yet optimism is definitely the numero uno word we'd use to describe our Class of 2020.  

In fact, we'd like you to come on a bit of a journey with us: picture our Year 12s as figurative cheerleaders. Even at a surface level, this an apt analogy. They have taken it upon themselves to cheer—be the support act—for their younger peers. BAC is tight knit and the usual social stratifications are blurred. By the time students reach their senior years, they’ve had at least six years of great student leaders to learn from and this shows in the way they treat each other and the younger students.

But let's take this analogy a little further. While cheerleaders are remembered best for their costumes, pigtails and pompons, they're actually pretty hard core. They perform aerial and strength feats few of us have the stomach or the muscle for!

And this year is a super challenge. They began their trial exams this week, and their final, external exams for an entirely new Queensland Certificate of Education will come soon enough. They've faced a brand-new curriculum and unfamiliar assessment types. They're dealing with the same disruptions as the rest of us, but with the added complication of a period of home learning. All of this has only resulted in them becoming more creative and independent than just about any Year 12 class to date.

You could say they are currently performing the equivalent of a full 360º in the air and landing on a tent made of their teammate’s arms. 

They’re not delusional, they’re incredible. And we’re so proud of them. Here’s why.

Year 12s speak for optimism

“I’ve kind of enjoyed being in lockdown… I’m very organised and task-oriented and like to get assessments finished early. Mind you, it was really nice seeing my friends when we came back to school again!”

“During exams, as due dates approach, or if something is weighing heavily on us, our teachers and peers listen, understand, and help.”

“We say it a lot, but BAC is like family… Care is evident in the way we treat each other.” 

“When I’m just not feeling it, I remind myself that I can’t put in half the work and expect all of the results… I’ll look at a quote and think: Dude, get on with your life.”

“The positives of this year, and COVID, is that that I’ve found self-determination; I can push myself through hard things.” 

“We can see the positives. There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s not just me or our school. Everyone is going through it…” 

“I had a realisation that I was growing up and had to take charge of my life. I was about to be a legal adult. It helped me to be more grateful for what I have.”

“A flower doesn’t think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

“We experienced the losses, and this brought us together... We grew in the way we interacted and the chemistry we developed was really great. The camaraderie was really close.” 

“I decided that I should step out of my comfort zone. I took little steps: new subjects, new friends, team sports, and the great thing about the peers and teachers around me was that they were really supportive. I gained a new perspective that it’s okay to be yourself.”  

Optimism: What does it mean and NOT mean?

True optimism is not delusional. It’s grounded in reality. Our cheerleading Year 12s know that true optimism DOES NOT:

  • exclude fear
  • exclude error
  • exclude slip ups, and
  • exclude obstacles.

Our cheerleading Year 12s know that optimism DOES mean:

  • you’re practicing and re-practicing the steps with your team
  • you’re training in the dark on your own
  • you’re doing your best on any given day
  • you’re trying a second and third and fourth and fifth time if need be
  • you’re linking arms and giving each other a softer landing, and
  • you’re sharing experiences and tips and hacks with each other so that you can each reach higher, fly further.

When you know there are others who have your best interests at heart; when you know others will forgive you your mistakes and encourage you to get back out there; when you know you can count on your coaches to talk you through the steps, you achieve the remarkable.