Class of 2020 – Julia Thompson
Julia joined the St Catherine’s School community in Prep, and has made an impressive contribution to the Co-curricular life at School. As Instrumental Music Captain, she has been a member of the Viva Voci Choir, School Band, Orchestra, and the Chamber Flute Ensemble. As House Debating Captain, Julia enjoyed the opportunity to pass on her accumulated wisdom to the younger debaters.
Hear from Julia about her hopes for the future, and her reflections on life at St Catherine’s as she steps beyond the Heyington Gates.
What do you plan to study post school?
Julia: I’m not entirely sure but I’ve been considering nursing, law or psychology and criminology.
Where do you hope to study next year?
I’ve been looking at ACU, Melbourne and Monash. However, I would also love to study overseas if I got the opportunity, but this would also depend on the course I decide to pursue. For example, law is something that would be better to study in Australia.
COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for 2020. Has it changed your perspective of where you see yourself in five years’ time?
For me personally, although the restrictions changed a lot of things, I was able to remain focused on the future whilst also appreciating all the things I still had despite COVID-19, such as amazing teachers and technology that supported us throughout all of it. As a result, I am still optimistic for the future, hoping that I will love whatever I’m doing in five years’ time. If anything, the coronavirus has made me more resilient.
What have been some of the highlights of your time at St Catherine’s?
There are so many incredible moments and opportunities I’ve had. For me, the French exchange, English exchange and Year 9 trip to Fiji were some of the best moments of my life. However, I also cherish the smaller moments, such as running out for recess and lunch as soon as the bell rang to go and find the best pebbles in the pebble patch for trading before others did in the junior school. Thinking I wouldn’t do it, I also remember being dared to sing in the school talent show in grade three. However, committed to proving them wrong, I sang Love Story by Taylor Swift acapella, despite the fact that singing is not my strong suit. Although that song will haunt me for the rest of my life, I look back and laugh at the fact that I actually did it. St Catherine’s is the home to so many of my childhood memories that will be with me for the rest of my life.
What will you take away from this year, despite COVID-19?
The strong friendships and sense of community, as well as all the fond memories we’ve made, whether it’s witnessing Mrs Lloyd’s groovy dance moves or Mr Brown walking in on our own questionable dance moves to music blaring in the common room.
What are some life lessons you have learnt from your time at St Catherine’s, and particularly 2020?
Make the most of all the opportunities we’re given because we are so lucky to have them. Although it can be difficult amongst the sometimes stressful and chaotic moments, don’t take your time at St Catherine’s for granted because it’s an experience that you’ll never get to have again. Most importantly, be kind. It will make a better time for everybody.
What has COVID-19 taught you that will be able to transfer into the next phase of your journey?
Don’t take things for granted and don’t get caught up on all the negatives. Focus on the positives. For example, I personally felt as if coronavirus strengthened our year 12 cohort. We shared the laughter and the tears and we experienced what no other year 12 cohort has experienced. We are one for the history books. As well as this, the coronavirus meant that we got to sleep-in more than we usually would on school days and sneak some food during classes whenever we wanted.
How do you believe St Catherine’s and your teachers have helped you reach your goals?
Many teachers at St Catherine’s are incredibly supportive and want you to do well. The teachers who have helped me to reach my goals the most are those who encourage me no matter what. A few small words of encouragement can go a long way. To this day I remember specific things my teachers have said to me years ago which still mean a lot to me. I’m not sure I’ll ever experience such supportive learning again. The St Catherine’s school co-curricular programs, such as debating, music and sport have also provided me with the chance to develop skills I hope to take with me in the big wide world, allowing me to reach my potential.
What advice would you provide to future Year 12 students?
Although the work is important, don’t get caught up in the stress and remember to laugh with your friends and appreciate the things that bring you joy. Cherish the time you have together and put things into perspective. Yes, your ATAR is important but it’s not the be-all and end-all.
Would you like to anything else?
Thank you to everybody who has made my journey at St Catherine’s a beautiful one.