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Hey students – you’re OK!

2020 has been quite a school year for you. Fractured. Chaotic. Boring. Uncertain.

Many of you have returned to the classroom after weeks (or months) of remote learning. Being at home was a novelty for a while, but that novelty wore pretty thin, pretty quickly! (Spare a thought for kids living on remote outback stations!)

It’s good to be back with your friends, socialising, offering support and encouragement, sharing stories and gossip, studying, making plans. Go on. Admit it. It’s good to be back with your teachers. (Your parents are OK, but they’re pretty clueless on the maths front.)

So how do you really feel?

You might be OK, and perfectly happy to be back at school.

But…

It’s perfectly normal if you are feeling a little flat after the last few months of fire and flood, isolation, tough lockdowns, border closures, school shutdowns …

It’s perfectly normal if you are feeling a little frustrated after dealing with a crappy NBN at home, major assignments due – and battling with your family for equal time on the home device.

And ok. There will always be somebody who will tell you how lucky you are that it’s not 1915 with half your friends being shot up in the trenches. You know it. But it’s not 1915, and those statements don’t help.

It’s perfectly normal to be feeling as if you have missed out on something special by missing out on time with your classmates – because you have.

Your classmates can make the school year more bearable if you are having a difficult time, and more fun at any time. (Face timing is great, but it’s just not the same.)

These last years of school contain all the rites of passage that you have been looking forward to.

Hanging out in the senior’s tearoom. Getting your licence. 18th celebrations. School formal.

So it’s perfectly normal to be feeling a certain grief that things haven’t turned out the way you had always imagined.

So where to from here?

Wherever you want to take it – within the limits of COVID restrictions of course. But hey, your generation (if we are to make it about generations) has already proven that COVID restrictions have not been your limit!

Your generation are OK. You’re coming through this OK.

You have found new ways of doing things and fresh ways of looking at things.

You have been socialising, studying, catching up with friends – in different ways.

You have learned new skills, and you have embraced old forgotten skills.

You have had the opportunity to get closer to nature and closer to your family.

You understand the things that are really important in life – and your ATAR score is not one of them!

You will be OK.

You might not feel it but you are stronger, more compassionate and worldlier than you were a few short months ago. You are shaping a new way into your future and your generation will shape the world with your experiences – in large ways and in small.

So with only a few weeks left of the 2020 school year – support each other – do what you can – ask for help if you need it.

And enjoy!

If you’re not OK, don’t be alone.

REACHOUT

reachout.com

HEADSPACE (1800 650 890)

headspace.org.au

BEYOND BLUE (1300 224 636)

beyondblue.org.au