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Blog: Time waits for nobody, even Alex

This week, Alex, one of our Community and Service Captains for 2021/2022, talks about the notion of time… which has proved somewhat elusive to her in the past.

You probably already know me after I nagged you all to get involved in the World Vision 40-Hour Famine, which went well, so good job everyone! I’d like to talk to you about how I’ve ‘owned’ my story. But what is my story? I honestly wish I had a cohesive answer. The simplest way to explain it is that some time ago, when I was young, I realised that time was always passing by, which I know is like ‘Duh! Obvious!’ but I will expand.

I used to define my life in a series of waiting periods. In Year 4, I waited to be in Year 6. From Year 6, I waited to be in Middle School. In Year 7, I waited for Senior College and so on. Of course, these waiting periods had smaller fractions. For instance, when I spent terms overseas skiing, I would wait for the months to pass or on camps, I would religiously count down the days until I could have a hot shower.

For me, the notion of time passing used to be something I was grateful for. When you’re a kid, everything moves too slowly. I wanted responsibility and parties and to be able to read the books my mum said were too inappropriate for a 10-year-old. I did end up disobeying her and trust me, reading 50 Shades in Year 5 was traumatising! Even more so when Mimi snitched on me. In my defence, I did think it was a gruesome murder mystery!

So, time has continued to pass, and at the beginning of Year 10, I finally came to the realisation that maybe time was going too fast. After realising I would be graduating in two years, I suddenly wanted the ability to go back in time. I realised that those two years, like all the other years before them, would pass me by and then I would be leaving School. Forever.

After some reflection, I decided to stop waiting and to start playing an active role in my ‘story.’ This decision manifested itself primarily in a new surge of passion I had for various things. And sure, that passion may have been a bit wild and uncontrollable at first… like when I became so passionate about studying that I found myself breaking down in Ms Swaine’s office, mid-exam week, after two hours of sleep, and after trying to hand out cookies to Ms Swaine and Ms Rodgerson. But hey, we all learn from our mistakes!

And this passion, while intense at times, ultimately led me to find new sources of happiness. This has included making new friends, realising I can ask more than two questions a lesson without being a swot, and relating the old white guys we study in History to specific Taylor Swift songs! And finally, and most importantly, I’ve discovered that I’m really into service.

My service journey started off with me joining a few clubs, making a few speeches, getting in screaming matches with my father about various political issues, and being a Captain of Global Diversity, which I loved. And now I’m here, as a Community and Service Captain.

Bit of a tangent but service is such an important part of my life. It’s important for every Wenonian as Ut Prosim, that I may serve is our School motto! I'm not so naive to believe the service that I, a 16-year-old does within her very privileged school, has that much impact on our wider world. But it teaches empathy and allows us to care for something greater than ourselves. It equips us with the capacity to care about others, beyond school and in fields where we do have the influence to make lasting change. And as such, I am so very grateful that it came into my life - especially considering (and please don’t tell Director of Community and Service Learning, Ms Seale) I never even completed my Year 9 SLIC!

After my little revelation, you can see that I'm certainly no role model when it comes to living a perfect life. I still breakdown about school too often and I argue with my parents about stupid inconsequential things. I have however, become an active participant in my own story. I’ve stopped waiting and started doing and that has bought me so much joy.

I used to roll my eyes (inside my head) when Captains would get up and preach about all the things we should be doing, specifically when it came to them suggesting we join clubs, which in hindsight is highly ironic.

But it’s not embarrassing to have passion and to care. I wish I could grab my younger self by her shoulders, shake her hard, though not too hard because I had concussions for most of Middle School, and tell her to stop following everyone else's lead, because we have so many opportunities at Wenona. That is a phrase used often and it's not because it's a cliché but because it’s so starkly true. School, especially ours, gives you an environment to safely nurture yourself and find out who you want to be without any of the other expectations and responsibilities thrust upon us outside of the gates. So, experiment and have fun, instead of waiting for it to be over!

By way of conclusion, it’s time to stop waiting for some mystical part of your life to happen and start living, find what makes you happy, take control of your story and own it! And you can quote me on that.

Thank you very much and that's all from me.

Alex Brennan

Alex (Year 11)
Community and Service Captain 2021/2022