Class of 2020 – Romy Cantwell
As Davis Co-Captain, she drove Davis House initiatives throughout 2020. Her enthusiastic support and encouragement of younger girls in the House, and her organisation and participation in a number of House Athletics events demonstrated her generous nature.
Romy’s determination and commitment through the rowing season was evident. As Co-Captain of Boats, and with a first place finish at the Victorian State Rowing Championships as a member of the First XIII crew saw her awarded Full Rowing Colours. She was also a highly valued member of the GSV Swimming squad.
As Romy steps away from St Catherine’s, she reflects on her time at School and her aspirations for the future.
What do you plan to study post school?
I am aiming to study medicine.
Where do you hope to study?
I hope to stay in Melbourne and study at Melbourne University.
COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works in 2020. Has it changed your perspective on where you see yourself in five years’ time?
Although this year has proved to be quite difficult in the midst of a pandemic, my goals for the future have hardly changed. I think this is because of my reliance on the adapting and evolving nature of society. If anything, the uncertainty that the virus has provided has launched an even greater global funding into the domain of science. Ironically, perhaps this has made me more assured that medicine is the path I would like to take. As a domain of never-ending possibilities, it seems to be the perfect fit for me.
What have been some of the highlights of your time at St Catherine’s?
My most important academic highlights have been my participation in many Mathematics and Science Olympiads and nation-wide competitions. Whilst of course these proved to always be quite difficult, I was always left with a yearning desire to continue them as I found they exposed me a greater understanding of the topics I was actually studying.
Despite COVID-19 what will you take away from this year?
Despite the challenging circumstances, this year has surprisingly strengthened many of my friendships and relationships with those around me. Not only with my family (who I was surrounded by 24/7) but also with my friends via online means. Although the year didn’t turn out quite how I expected it, the bonds and memories I have will last forever.
What has COVID-19 taught you that will be able to transfer into the next phase of your journey?
This year has taught me to be a lot more independent. Although the support I received from all staff during lockdown was outstanding, any student would agree that it doesn’t provide quite the same feeling through a screen as it does in person. This has taught me many things: to back myself and my knowledge in my subject areas, to stay organised and remain on top of all my homework, and to develop the resilience it took to come through the other side of 2020 as I have.
How do you believe St Catherine’s and your teachers have helped you reach your goals?
The teaching staff have pushed me to discover my love for Science and Mathematics. Without their constant support, I would never have developed such a strong desire to continue these subjects and domains in my tertiary studies.
What advice would you provide to future Year 12 students?
First of all, I would like to hope that no future Year 12 students would have a year even mildly similar to the one I had. Nevertheless, the experiences of Year 12 students in 2020 should give them the confidence that no matter how much is going on in the outside world, the Year 12 Curriculum itself is quite doable if you apply yourself and maintain focus. I encourage future Year 12 students to start the year with confidence and to maintain it throughout. After all, VCE is largely similar to a game; thus it is impossible to win if you don’t believe in yourself.