In 2014, after my first year of high school, I published my “Looking back at Year 7” blog and unknowingly started a yearly tradition for myself. I have come to appreciate this little tradition because now I can go back and read them to remember the things that excited me and the challenges I faced – little things (and sometimes surprisingly big things) I may have otherwise forgotten. With 2018 new and full of promise before all of us, I am excited to reflect on the joys and challenges that 2017 brought me.
At the beginning of the year, I participated in the “Rostrum Voice of Youth” with the speech I wrote called “No one is too young to be a world changer”. It is a public speaking competition (as I have in the last couple of years) and was so happy to achieve “runner-up” in my heat. Here is the speech I presented on how I think young people should never doubt their ability to instigate change.
This year I completed my first fiction short film called “The Second Joker”. I did it with my friends Emily O’Brien, Catie Ryan and Tilly Francis and it is a horror. Whilst it is clearly no Hitchcock, it was a fun to complete and a good learning experience for all of us!
One of my highlights in 2017 was all the performing arts experiences I involved myself in. I was a part of my school production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” where I played “Antonio”. I loved participating in this production, and it is always worth the two afternoons of rehearsal a week for the two terms leading up to it. Plus it isn’t every day you get to dress up as a 16th-century nobleman :)
I also participated in the school “Dance Night“, and while I am not a serious dancer, I love the yearly chance to perform with my my friends do a contemporary class.
At school I do an elective art class and I love it – here are a few of my favourite works from 2017.
My Yiayia (grandmother) when she was young
A sketch I did in preparation for my lino carving
This is a lino print which I carved. It is my Yiayia (grandmother) holding my little sister Ruby
In the middle of last year, I had the chance to do some fantastic travel, most notably visiting Greece which is my mum’s place of origin. This trip was such a lovely experience not just because of the warm summer climate and beautiful beaches, but because my sister and I got a chance to immerse ourselves in Greek culture and meet some family members. I came back so inspired I even picked Modern Greek as a subject this year!
2017 did bring a few challenges, including one of my best friends having a health scare. She was diagnosed with a benign (non-cancerous) brain tumour and sent to have brain surgery and thus off school for quite a while. I remember visiting her in the hospital after the surgery when she came out of the ICU, her face puffy and busied, still very groggy from the pain relief – but smiling at me. My friends and I were so impressed on her cool, calm, collected-ness in the face of adversity. Much to the relief of all her friends and family, everything has ended up fine and she is on the road to full recovery.
All of these things have made 2017 a year I am so thankful for. The only other major challenge was a happy one – finding time to fit in all the things I love. I am about to embark on my senior years Year 11 and Year 12 (my last two years of high school) so these next two year will be very hectic and important. I am hoping 2018 will be a year of learning where I also can make time for all the things I love!