Year 12s, this is still your year, here’s why…

Think you’ve got it tough sitting at home watching the news, rationing toilet paper and worrying about the future? Try being a current Queensland year 12 student, writes Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor and President of CQUniversity Australia. 

If you are one of the state’s 50 000+ year 12 students, you must feel like you’ve been robbed. This was supposed to be your year – arguably the most formative year of your life where you finally gained your social, academic and economic freedoms. But as it turns out, most social, academic and economic freedoms have been suspended until further notice.

This was meant to be the year of school formals, driving your friends around with your new driver’s licence, parties, sports team trips, schoolies week, and getting the guts to ask out your crush. How is any of this meant to happen while you are in lockdown with your parents?

This was meant to be the year where you took a part-time job, earned a bit of coin, and splashed some cash on festivals and shoes. Now you’ve suddenly found yourself locked out of those minimum-wage retail and hospitality jobs, stuck at home, broke.

And this was going to be the biggest academic year of your life so far. Huge. We’re talking final-year exams, external ATAR testing, university preferences, TAFE applications, academic awards, school captaincies and school leadership roles. Right now you are probably wondering how COVID-19 disrupts all of this, and also why has the Class of 2020 been the educational piñata year after year, taking all the hits but not spilling any rewards your way?

Read more from Professor Nick Klomp.