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In the first in our series of VCE Reflections, 2019 School Captain Georgia talks about her experiences of Ivanhoe Girls' and how she coped with the intense experience of studying for her VCE.

Georgia Martin, School Captain 2019
Georgia, School Captain 2019

Although my VCE years were the most demanding in my school career, they were also the most exciting. The freedom you are given to choose your own subjects and direct your learning to areas you are interested in is refreshing. Personally, I had taken a keen interest in the business world; so therefore the opportunity to further develop and explore this area through subjects like Accounting, Economics and Legal Studies made school even more attractive to me.

However, during this time, it can be extremely easy to become consumed by school, work and assessments. You end up studying most days of the week and then the infamous ATAR result begins to motivate all your work. Expectations from others (and yourself) result in increasing pressure to perform in SACs and eventually exams. Collectively, these things, as I found, are both counterproductive and overwhelming. That’s why maintaining a balanced lifestyle throughout my VCE years ended up being so important to me.

VCE is often compared to a marathon, a long slog with a sprint at the end. But when runners train for marathons, they don’t run all day, everyday. So why should we strive to study 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Take breaks. See your friends. Play sport. Find hobbies and enjoy doing them. For me, dancing on a Saturday was a great way to break up my study routine. When I was there I could forget about any of my current stresses and just enjoy being with my friends while also being physically active. My job was also another important part of my balanced lifestyle. It was a great way to earn some cash to help fund leisure activities I wanted to do both during and after school was done.

Although high school and VCE seem like a distant memory now, I still continue to look back on my time at Ivanhoe Girls’ very fondly. I miss seeing my friends and teachers everyday, people I made great relationships with. I miss the great times I had dressing up for house events, surfing at Lorne at the Year 12 Conference and dancing the night away at the Year 12 formal. 

That’s why my biggest suggestion to current Year 12s is to have fun and enjoy your year. It is overwhelming at times and assessments do seem to be the "be all and end all" at the time, but I can guarantee you, your ATAR doesn’t stay forever but memories do.