Navigation Menu

Web Content Display (Global)

Resilient Jessica navigates through illness and COVID-19

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Student leader Jessica Bottcher overcame the combined challenges of a serious illness and COVID-19 to complete her SACE.

Cicilia Begbia

Web Content Display (Global)

In 2019, Jessica was unable to attend Roma Mitchell Secondary College in Year 11 because of illness.

The 18-year-old returned to school in Year 12 this year and then had to juggle the challenges of COVID-19 and a month-long period of online learning.

But Jessica’s hard work and support from friends and her teachers have supported her throughout her Year 12 journey. 

Jessica, who was Head Prefect, SRC and House Captain, studied Stage 2 subjects in Business and Enterprise, English Literary Studies, Mathematical Methods, and Physics.

“When I became very unwell in Year 11 and was unable to attend school, I felt that this set me back in my studies considerably,” Jessica said.

“As a highly conscientious student, this caused a great deal of stress especially as I was nearing Year 12. I was also unable to participate in many of the extra-curricular activities that I was so passionate about.  

“When I entered Year 12, I felt incredibly overwhelmed as I thought I lacked much of the foundational knowledge from the previous year’s subjects. 

“To add fuel to fire, COVID-19 hit as a significant disruption to my learning. But with the unwavering support and understanding of the teachers at Roma Mitchell, I was able to overcome these challenges.

“As someone who was heavily involved in my school community, online learning was a massive change, talking to a teacher who is on a computer screen with 30 other students.

“But frequent communication with my teachers through online classes and emails ensured that I had the resources, clarification and encouragement necessary to rebuild my confidence and excel. 

“This experience reminded me to approach every situation with a solutions-oriented mindset and as a recovering perfectionist, it was important for me realise that it is not our failures that define us but our ability to grow from them. 

“I learned to be more resilient and resourceful with my learning, and adapt to any of the challenges that came my way.”
Jessica will study Film and Television at UniSA in 2021.