Class of 2020 – Sophie Boyce

Our 2020 Co-Captain Sophie Boyce, joined the St Catherine’s community in Year 9, in 2017. Sophie has been an active participant in Co-curricular life at St Catherine’s, making significant contributions to the Debating and Sport programs, and Community service activities. Sophie’s leadership is to be highly commended throughout such a challenging year, and her approachable nature and clear message about belonging for all St Catherine’s students has been a constant pillar of her leadership throughout 2020.

What do you plan to study post school?
Sophie: I have received an unconditional early offer to study International Relations at the Australian National University, Canberra next year.  

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?
Not particularly, I understand that the environment of the world will be different, and we will all be creating a new way of living, however, in relation to where I see myself, a pandemic can’t change my dreams 😉 But in all seriousness, I do look forward to studying in an area such as International Relations with the changing world as the political arena will be a very different setting, however it has not impacted where I see myself in 5 years.

What have been some of the highlights of your time at St Catherine’s?
In my short time at St Catherine’s, the memories I have made are limitless. Both big and small experiences have created some of my favourites. I constantly come back to our Year 9 trip to Fiji which taught me a lot about myself during an age where we really are trying to ‘find ourselves.’ One memory which is so miniscule, however, probably at the top of my highlights was at the beginning of this year. One recess, the week before we went into our first lockdown, a friend and I spotted a few Year 8’s skipping, and who can walk past a skipping rope without joining in?! Suddenly half of the Year 8 cohort, the two of us and from memory, even Mr Marshall, were putting our skipping skills to the test. Purely spending 10 minutes giggling and skipping during such uncertain times, having that small moment of happiness at the beginning of a School year that quite frankly lacked these special moments, has definitely become a favourite memory. This memory makes up a larger highlight of my time at St Catherine’s and that is the individual relationships I have built with girls from all years. Something I will value for a lifetime.  

Despite COVID-19 what will you take away from this year?
2020 has made me a more resilient person but also taught me that it’s ok when your expectations aren’t met. I began the year with quite a large ‘2020 vision’ within my role as School Co-Captain however I had to basically scrap most of these goals and aspirations. I had to adapt to a different type of leadership. As a people person, not being around other girls made this even harder. Despite this, I adapted and learnt that I can’t plan everything, that I had to just ‘go with the flow’ sometimes. 

What are some life lessons you have learnt from your time at St Catherine’s, and particularly from 2020?
Hard work always pays off. Without sounding like I am bragging, I really made use of the opportunities I was provided at St Catherine’s and by working hard to pursue my goals, big or small. I have always been rewarded in one way or another for the work I have put in, whether that was an A on a Year 9 Science test or gaining a leadership role in 2020. This year in particular, I have seen this come into action. Often I felt as though giving up was the easiest option online, however, knowing through my experiences at St Catherine’s, if I continued to put in the effort and remain optimistic it would be worth it.  

What has COVID-19 taught you that you will be able to transfer into the next phase of your journey?
We should consider how we love ourselves as much as we love each other.  Our lives were so busy pre COVID-19 and having the down time during lockdown meant that we had more time for selfreflection and being able to care for ourselves more and not just the others around us. It really taught me that you can only achieve your best when you’re at your best. I saw this translate into everything I did, I focused on doing less but at a higher level. 

How do you believe St Catherine’s and your teachers have helped you reach your goals?
I believe St Catherine’s provided me with the stepping stones to achieve the opportunities placed in front of me. The support of teachers was overwhelming, they didn’t only put in the effort for the top 10% of students, each and every student was unique to them and they truly put in the effort. This really resonated with me through my time at St Catherine’s. I remember before moving here I was not the biggest fan of English, and I really wasn’t motivated to put in the work. However, Ms Hildebrand took the time to meet with Year 9 me, not the studious of students, in the library to work through structuring essays and improving vocabulary. Suddenly I was looking forward to English classes and to this day our Year 9 English book is still my favourite read. The small acts of kindness, taking time out of their days to individually help students, is what makes the teachers of St Catherine’s so special, and something I am definitely going to miss.  

What advice would you provide to future Year 12 students?
Don’t compare your workload to other students. For some, a million Co-curriculars before and after school followed with late night study sessions works for them, others it doesn’t. If you’re interested in something, and really want to do it, you’ll make the time for it. It’s no secret that I loved my Co-curricular throughout school however for me it only worked because I was on top of scheduling when I would do everything, and always put my school work above all else. If you have to miss a game for GSV to study for that biology outcome, it is ok! My two top tips for staying organised are:  

  1. Use your record book, mine became my best friend. 

  2. Download an app called “flora” if you get distracted easily when studying, you can keep track of how much you’ve done while also remained focused.  


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