Saturday, November 28, 2020

The official student newspaper of Methodist Ladies' College

What did MLC students do during their Term 2 Holidays?

Term 2 holidays are officially over and Term 3 is already underway! But just before we dive into our school lives at full speed, let us take a quick review of our Term 2 holidays. What have we accomplished across these two weeks? How productive were we, what new skills have we gained, and what engaging activities did we enjoy? After surveying a number of different students across years 10, 11 and 12, I have collated interesting results and present them below. Please note that these experiences may not necessarily reflect those of every individual and are merely drawn from a smaller sample size of our student community- explored for the purpose of curious entertainment.

Where did we spend our Term 2 Holidays?

With the spread of COVID-19 and travel restrictions imposed across international borders, many of us remained in Melbourne, braving the cold and basking in the comfort of familiarity. Yet even so, life under lockdown can be deemed anything but familiar; we faced numerous obstacles and challenges, adapting to unaccustomed routines and modifying daily habits. However, some of us also travelled for brief periods of time to other cities and regions. These relaxing and enjoyable journeys included visits to the Mornington Peninsula and Sydney- often with family members or close friends. Those of us joining onsite classes from Teams spent our holidays in locations across the sea from Melbourne, in areas such as China and Indonesia.

What new or interesting facts have we learnt about during the holidays?

With the influx of information in a technological society, social media platforms and ‘quick news’ permeate our lives. Consequently, many of us have gained new insights and knowledge regarding a multitude of different concerns. Notable themes evidently include updates related to COVID-19 and other societal issues reflected across a global stage. We have learnt about the conflicts within Yemen and the devasting effects of warfare on humanity. Whilst fuelled by ongoing scientific research and medical findings, we have also read news reports that shed light onto the existence of ‘COVID parties’. Simultaneously, we have been intrigued by various other unexpected and interesting facts, surprised that different seasons in the U.S. commence midmonth, as opposed to the first day of the month. Where more than 90% of Australians live in coastal areas, we have also discovered that bees can actually sting other bees. Several students delved into the exploration of culture within Asian film and media industries, as well as the differing probabilities of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians being granted bail. Alternatively, some of us shifted our attention to preparing for upcoming assessments and evaluating various new study techniques.

What new skills have we gained in the holidays?

Within this lengthy period of two weeks, many of us gained new skills and challenged ourselves with interesting activities we never attempted before. Utilising the holidays as a time to rest, relax and restore energy in preparation for a bustling Term 3, several of us invested time into analysing sleeping techniques and mastered the skill of “sleeping all day”. Others poured their efforts into refining musical talents, learning new pieces and even self-teaching various instruments such as the piano and guitar. Many of us developed a newfound love for baking- guarding our territory in the kitchen and perfecting our crepe cake making skills. Pasta and homemade pizza were also very popular; cooking without burning was deemed a tremendous feat in itself. For others, relishing in nature and fresh air was especially rewarding. Gardening with family became a routine hobby as we learnt to incorporate garden produce into daily meals. We also acquired some inconspicuous yet vital skills, such as learning how to sew clothes and use Dropbox software. There was concurrently a large focus on establishing personalised exercise routines, where fitness was maintained through yoga practice and following online workout tutorials.

What is something/someone you are grateful for?

With COVID-19 impacting upon so many families and communities, we have recognized the priceless and insurmountable value of human life. Especially during quarantine, many of us have begun living at a more leisurely pace, truly appreciating the trivial intricacies of mundanity and the privilege of being sheltered, clothed and fed. We are extremely grateful for our family members and their continuous support throughout such difficult times. Many of us also treasure the camaraderie and loyalty of friends and their guidance across academic or personal areas of life. Others value the companionship of pets- their presence comforting us during struggles of sadness and despair. Several of us appreciate the opportunity of being outdoors, enjoying bike rides, and the comfort of nature’s familiar presence. We are incredibly thankful for our educational opportunities at MLC, our access to reliable internet, and maintaining our learning through online platforms whilst spending time with family.

What advice would we give our Term 3 selves?

From the adventures and insights gained during our holidays, many of us are eager to offer valuable advice to our future Term 3 selves. Key themes involve stopping procrastination, staying on top of schoolwork and not leaving everything to complete last minute. Others emphasise the importance of maintaining a balance between academic work and personal wellbeing, especially during online schooling. Some of us reiterate the significance of prioritising- keeping focused on what we deem as most important and always taking into consideration the ‘bigger picture’. Difficulties are merely trials we must endure throughout our lives, and with resilience, all will improve with the passing of time. Several students advise themselves not to self-doubt, not to become too caught up in the past but seize all opportunities and “make everything count”. Similarly, popular advice is to perceive lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions with a growth mindset, focusing on adaptation and adjustment rather than aversion and rejection. Others highlight the importance of staying active and maintaining curiosity, as well as receiving longer hours of sleep to stay refreshed and fuelled for the next day.

What goals do we hope to achieve in Term 3?

With a new school term, newfound awareness and a new ‘us’, we establish several goals that we aim to achieve and objectives we strive to abide by. Popular ambitions include becoming more prepared and organised for undertaking VCE and IB courses, staying on top of schoolwork, and achieving new academic accolades. Similarly, there are also wishes to gain more confidence during class discussions and become more comfortable with online learning. Others hope to incorporate physical activity into a greater portion of their daily routine, including more frequent bike rides and maintaining regular exercise. Many of us strive to maintain a positive mindset and spread compassion during these periods of hardship. Where balance between all aspects of life is pursued, we also value creativity and wish for an eventful yet exciting Term 3.

Images sourced from MLC students Jessica Permezel, Sara Charlesworth, and Esta Chen

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