School leavers embark on a new journey

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 11:44 21/12/2012

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Attitude

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It is the end of school forever for some, who are setting off on different journeys. Attitude chatted to the duxes of eight schools, asking them their thoughts on their time at school, their advice to others starting out and their plans.

Cara Adolph

Cara Adolph
Craighead Diocesan School

How has your year been?

Year 13 has been really good - challenging at times but enjoyable and rewarding. It's been pretty busy and the year went extremely fast. It's hard to believe that my time at high school is finished, but I have plenty of great memories of my time at Craighead.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

High school gives you the chance to try lots of new things, so make the most of all the opportunities given to you.

Always try your best and put 100 per cent effort into everything and you'll be surprised by what you can achieve.

Most importantly, enjoy it, as the time goes really quickly.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

Hard work, commitment and determination to succeed. Set goals, aim high and do your best to achieve them. Listen to your teachers, ask questions and make the most of every opportunity.

What's your best high-school moment?

There have been quite a few, which makes it really hard to choose, but probably winning SISS Netball and my French trip to New Caledonia.

What's your worst high-school moment?

This is a tough one. High school, as with life, has its ups and downs, but I can't really think of anything that would count as a worst moment.

What are you doing next year?

Bachelor of Science at the University of Otago.

Charlotte McKay

Charlotte McKay
Timaru Girls' High School

How has your year been?

Year 13 has been an amazing year full of so many opportunities and incredibly busy. It has been a balancing act to make sure that study did happen.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

Get yourself fully involved in the life of your school by signing up for extracurriculars and other activities. These are some of the most fun parts of high school.

However, be careful not to leave all your study to the last minute. This never produces good results.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

Good time management, commitment, a willingness to get involved and a desire to do well.

What's your best high-school moment?

It's impossible to narrow down, but highlights would include riding a bike through assembly, Boyle River camp, year-13 waterslide, house days and the school balls.

What's your worst high-school moment?

Attempting to dance to Snoop Dog in front of the school. I'm afraid I may have embarrassed myself slightly!

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What are you doing next year?

I am studying for a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in art history at the University of Otago, where I hope to become a curator.

Artemis Irvine

Artemis Irvine
Opihi College

How has your year been?

It's been repetitive at times with the usual exams for the third time, but revelatory coming to the end of the year and realising my secondary school life is now completely over.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

I'm really bad at giving good advice, but I guess it would be to trust yourself and realise that school is far better when you put your head down and work towards something.

Don't take your education for granted, no matter how low your grades are, or how much you hate it, and be nice to your teachers, unlike me for the larger part of year 9.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

Just get past year 9 and you should be sweet.

Have goals that are just above achievable at the moment to help drive you, but only tell yourself those goals and work towards them throughout the year.

That way, you avoid the irrelevant teenage gossip sessions that drive you mental.

It's win-win.

What's your best high-school moment?

I suppose it should be dux, but really it was getting second in English in year 10 after never getting a class placing at high school ever. That felt pretty good.

What's your worst high-school moment?

Oh, the dreaded question . . . my worst moment could be considered my most defining, or even my "best moment" by some, but I'll continue to be vague with that one.

What are you doing next year?

If all goes well, I'll be in Dunedin studying sociology and film studies.

Michael Shaw

Michael Shaw
Timaru Boys' High School

How has your year been?

Incredible, I had so many opportunities thrown my way this year and I'd like to think that I made the most of them.

My year group became so close and we were all enthusiastic about all the things we did (the ball, sports fixtures, assemblies, etc).

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

Be nice, make friends, get into anything and everything you are interested in and just enjoy this new beginning.

It seems scary at first, but as long as you stay keen for school, you will have a great time.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

I think balance is the key to succeeding at school. For seven months I didn't have a Tuesday or Thursday night at home because of the drama productions, so I had to make the most of the time I did have to get through my school work and keep up with friends.

I didn't always get my work done for school, but it was all part of finding that balance between school and the rest of my life.

Once I got it under control, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the year.

If you want something, you have to go get it yourself. No-one is going to ask the questions or do your work for you, so you need to know what you want out of school and how you plan to get it.

What's your best high-school moment?

There have been some amazing moments throughout, but when I was standing on stage and the school gave me the three cheers, that was very moving for me.

What's your worst high-school moment?

I can only really think of swimming preliminaries. The school pool isn't heated and it was so cold, but apart from that, everything has been great.

What are you doing next year?

I am studying health science at the University of Otago, hopefully leading on to medicine.

Sara Horner

Sara Horner
Geraldine High School

How has your year been?

Year 13 has been a really busy, demanding year, but it has been a lot of fun as well.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting this year?

Over your high-school years, you have to make the most of the opportunities that you are presented with, and always ask for help when you need it.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

To succeed at high school, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and belief in yourself. You also have to balance the hard work with spending time with friends and family.

What is your best high-school moment?

My best high-school moment would be getting awarded dux.

What is your worst high-school moment?

My worst high-school moment would be dealing with the pressure of exams.

What are you doing next year?

Next year I plan to study first year health sciences at the University of Otago.

Lucy Goodwin

Lucy Godwin
Mountainview High School

How has your year been?

I've really loved it. I spent a lot of time doing schoolwork at home compared with other school years and needed time management with balancing study and just enjoying my last year of high school with my friends. On the whole, it's been a great year for me at Mountainview High School.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

Probably to work hard to the best of your ability from the start of year 9 and not just wait until the senior school to try, because the habits you make in year 9 and 10 can stick with you through high school into your senior years.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

I'd say good time management and organisation - having a good balance between school and having a social life too.

I found that with assessments, I did them as soon as I got them, so I wasn't rushing last minute to complete things, so I could take my time and get things done to a high standard.

So basically, time management and a good work ethic are needed to succeed at high school.

What's your best high-school moment?

I've had a few good moments at high school. Being awarded dux was my best high-school moment because I was really pleased with everything I had achieved this year. The year-13 geography trip to Queenstown was another highlight of high school.

What's your worst high-school moment?

I didn't get a head student position for 2012, when I really wanted to.

I was very upset about it at first and being upset about that was probably my worst high-school moment, but I think in the end it did work out better for me because it meant I was able to focus on my schoolwork without the added responsibility that goes with the role of being a head student.

What are you doing next year?

Next year I'm going to Dunedin to the University of Otago to study human nutrition and then I plan to go on to post-graduate study in dietetics.

Ceri Giddens

Ceri Giddens
Waimate High School

How has your year been?

There was more table tennis than expected. The benefit of having such a small year group is that everyone is friends with everyone else and the atmosphere around school is one you can feel comfortable in.

As a group we've learnt just as much about ourselves as we have about Shakespearean women trading jewellery for monkeys.

Over the course of the year, we've prepared for the rest of our lives and learnt more things than any of us expected.

Year 13 has been pretty good.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

Chances are you will do unbelievably silly things before year 13 and, indeed, probably all the way through that year too, but you're still learning, and that's OK - everyone else is as well.

Also, "I will never need to know this" is not a good excuse to not do your schoolwork. Seriously though, do it. It probably will prove to be quite important for later on in life and avoiding the wrath of many a teacher.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

As much as I would like to offer some profound advice that will warm the soul and inspire the mind, I think success is something that can't be taught.

Perseverance and hard work never go amiss, but balance is essential.

It's totally OK to sit at home and spend an entire afternoon watching reruns of cancelled TV shows every now and then.

During my time at high school, I've learnt the importance of self-negotiation and being honest with myself.

School is a privilege and sitting around doing nothing is letting countless opportunities slip away - trust me.

What's your best high-school moment?

When I think of my favourite high-school memories, I see a medley of incidents involving people falling over inanimate objects to the Benny Hill Show soundtrack and this is probably not a fair indication of what has actually happened in my time at Waimate High.

If I'm honest, there have been too many camps, school events and study periods of hijinks to choose from.

It would be cruel to pick just one, so let's just say all of them.

What's your worst high-school moment?

Whether they've been overshadowed by the good moments or repressed by my traumatised subconscious, I struggle to think of any. I think the former is more likely.

Overall, I think even the moments that have seemed awful at the time have been valuable learning experiences, if nothing else.

What are you doing next year?

Next year I'm studying communications, media and film at the University of Otago.

Genevieve Cockburn

Genevieve Cockburn
Roncalli College

How has your year been?

It has been incredible, one of the best years of my life - busy and stressful, but I've loved every minute of it.

What advice would you pass on to year-9 students starting high school?

Always work hard and treat your academics seriously, because at the end of the day that's what truly matters.

Always thank your teachers and your parents, because they are the people you make you who you are.

What does it take to succeed at high school?

A lot of dedication to your school work. You have to be motivated and organised and always striving to achieve your true potential.

What's your best high-school moment?

This year has been a highlight - getting so many different opportunities and meeting so many new people.

What's your worst high-school moment?

Dealing with all the added stress and pressure this year. However, it led to some of my best moments.

What are you doing next year?

Next year I'm going to the University of Otago to study for a Bachelor of Arts in French, linguistics, Spanish and maths.

- The Timaru Herald

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