For most, Year 12 is an arduous one, full of hard work, study, and big decisions about the future. It is a difficult year, but this year’s graduates had even more adversity thrown into the mix, with COVID-19 exacerbating the stress, uncertainty and need for self-discipline that comes with being a Year 12 student. Last Friday, Narrogin Senior High School held its Year 12 presentation ceremony when all 90 students crossed the stage to be presented with their graduation certificates by principal John Watters. Mr Watters addressed the students and guests, speaking of courage and determination, not giving up but seeing things through until the end — an apt message for the class of 2020. School dux went to Charlotte Tinley, who has a bright future ahead after receiving a scholarship and being accepted to study a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of WA. Charlotte sat down with the Observer to speak about what it was like completing Year 12 during this tumultuous year, saying there were times when she did not know how she was going to get through the year. “It just feels amazing to be pretty much done,” she said. “When COVID-19 started getting really serious in WA and we started seeing all these things on social media about the possibility of a Year 13 and WACE exams potentially not going ahead, it all started getting very stressful. “There was just so much uncertainty.” Charlotte said right from the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions, it wreaked havoc on the students’ final year. “It was around three weeks before mid-year holidays when they said people could stay home if they chose to,” she said. “That made it really hard because the teachers then couldn’t give tests and assessments because only half the students were there,” she said. “Then, when they started actually shutting down schools it was even worse because we didn’t even know if we’d ever be able to go back there at all this year.” Charlotte, who hails from a farm between Williams and Wandering, said remote study had its own set of challenges. “It was definitely a struggle, especially out in the country,” she said. “We have really bad wi-fi connection and mobile service on the farm, so I didn’t really get much interaction with my teachers. I had to teach myself a lot of stuff.” Charlotte said this added to the stresses of study, leaving her unsure if her understanding of the content was thorough enough to get her through the exams. “I have six younger siblings who were also living in the house, trying to use the internet and do school from home all at the same time,” she said. “They're pretty noisy, so I just had to shut myself in my room and try to focus. “We all found trying to do school from home pretty difficult, I think.” Isolation from her peers was another challenge. “It was really hard not being able to see our friends, and social media was making people more scared and more stressed,” Charlotte said.