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COVID-19 no barrier to SACE success for David

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Learning remotely for two months due to COVID-19 hasn’t stopped David Olijnyk from succeeding in his SACE.

Cicilia Begbia

Web Content Display (Global)

The 18-year-old spent a long time from the Australian Science and Mathematics School compared to his Year 12 peers, to protect his two family members, who were autoimmune.

David credits his good study routine as well as the support from his friends and family for keeping him on track. David studied Stage 2 subjects in Chemistry, Specialist Mathematics, and Physics, as well as a university preparation course at Flinders University.

“When I first heard about COVID there was a sense that this was going to drift by and I really focused on Year 12,” David said.

“But when it came I realised the seriousness of it, the decision to learn from home was taken out of my hands. I have two members of my family who are autoimmune so there was no question that I would stay at school.

“I’m a pretty organised person but at the start of remote learning it was a little tricky. But I am confident with technology and the school did a fantastic job preparing us for online learning, getting us set up with Microsoft Teams.

“After that it was quite good learning from home. I kept to the same school timetable at home and tried to keep the routine the same at home. I’m so proud of my family for keeping me in check, they did not falter. My dad started working from home and we kept the same routine going.

“With my friends we kept in touch and when I was learning at home and my friends were back at school they kept me engaged, using their laptop or a teacher’s laptop to ensure I was part of the classroom. I never felt like I was missing out.”

“When I eventually got back to school it was a surreal. I would go to ask a question on Microsoft Teams and realise I could that question in person. It was great because I could help out my friends and the school community.

“I think COVID surprised me how much I could power through and I was able not to worry about what was going on in the world and stay on track with the tasks at hand. It’s supported my capacity to go against the odds and persevere.”

David has a guaranteed place to study a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Robotics and Electronic Engineering at Flinders University.