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Senior Spotlight: Testimonies and Tips on Learning During a Pandemic

Priyanka Rajiv, Grade 12

From virtual learning, to in-person learning, back to virtual, and in person again–it is fair to say that the current high school experience has been like no other. The past two years have brought forth unexpected changes for students in all grade levels. As the class of 2022 has watched their predecessors graduate year after year, it is now their turn. Grade 12 students at Bishop Reding were asked a series of questions regarding their high school experience so far as well as what advice they would give to younger students. From the seniors to you, here are some exclusive tips on how to make the most of your time at Bishop Reding. Grade 12 students were first asked to describe their Grade 12 experience so far in three words. The responses were compiled into a word cloud.

How Grade 12 students feel about the current school year.

Students were then asked how the pandemic affected their learning and how they have adapted to this. One student said that the pandemic, “caused burnout,” which compelled them to “make sure [they] set time aside for self-care.” Another added that they “have trouble staying on task.” They were honest in admitting that while they “haven't quite adapted yet,” they believe “it's important to be open-minded and set these new routines into motion.”

Bishop Reding offers many resources for student support which can be found on the school website (Halton Catholic District School Board, “Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School Milton”). After being asked about how the Bishop Reding community supports them, Grade 12 students recommended resources they have personally tried and tested. To further advance their education, Bishop Reding lets students know about “student-programs that are offered by universities as well as organizations to earn volunteer hours.” These resources can be found on the Student Services page of D2L (Halton Catholic District School Board “Bishop Reding Student Services). Another Grade 12 student noted that “the school has support staff such as social workers and counselors that [students] can reach out to if [they] feel overwhelmed or in need of support.” (Halton Catholic District School Board, “Staff Directory”).

After years of adjusting and finding what works for them, many senior students have their after-school routines down to a T. Grade 12 students were asked to break down their routine and recommend comfort shows, movies, and artists they listen to or watch to unwind. One student's routine was as follows: “Make myself a good lunch and give myself a small break whether that is going on my phone or watching an episode from my favourite show (Ted Lasso). When doing homework, I love listening to music as I find it helps me focus. My favourite artists are Taylor swift and Phoebe Bridgers.” If you’re looking for comfort movie recommendations, Grade 12 students recommend: Tangled, the Harry Potter series, 10 Things I Hate About You, La La Land, Minari, and Book Smart. Most importantly, many Grade 12’s swear by taking a short nap to recharge after school before diving into their homework.

Finally, some words of wisdom from your graduating class: “It is important to allow yourselves to explore and be open to change as scary as it is. You will find yourself and your calling; however, it is absolutely alright if you have not because it is not the end of the world. Always remember that others are experiencing the same thing.” When it comes to joining extracurriculars and pursuing your interests, “you don’t have to go with the crowd or your friends to fit in. Don’t be discouraged to do something because your friends don’t want to.” Also, “try to participate in school events, whether that is spirit days, sporting events, etc., because once high school is over, you most likely won’t experience it anywhere else.” In terms of academics: “Manage your time. I know you hear it often, but if you don’t build study habits and time management habits now, it can be overwhelming later. Don’t worry too much about your grades right now, you still have plenty of time to improve them.”

Collectively, Grade 12 students recommend that you “Enjoy your high school experience while you can. When deciding on your future don’t feel pressured to make other people happy-- do what you want to do!”

How will you be making the most of your time at Bishop Reding?

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