Sonali Maharaj spent a lot more time at her desk than she had originally planned to, as the amount of work increased due to online classes, but she also found it integral to disconnect from everything around her and focused on her mental health.
The Parktown Girls high school matriculant said as a pupil, she grew accustomed to her educators, peers and consistent physical presence as opposed to their virtual one.
“Due to this drastic change, it was only natural for one to find themselves in uncomfortable situations,” she said.
Maharaji added that she had to learn discipline as she was alone in her room without any pupil to help her.
“I had to learn to focus during online classes and be self-disciplined as there was no friend or pupil near me to keep me concentrated and motivated.”
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She said her family and friends were in her corner and supporting her in her final year.
“My family, friends and educators helped constantly remind me of the bigger picture which is easy to lose sight of when one is sitting at home for most of the time.”
The 18-year-old was a part of the Representative Council of Learners in matric, participated in public speaking for two years and played soccer for a year.
She said she found an interest in the field of Actuarial Sciences and will venture into it.
“Risk is something I believe should be taken in moderation and this discipline explains and quantifies risk which is I find to be quite satisfying for me.”
Lastly, Maharaj encouraged other pupils to go after what they were wholeheartedly passionate about.
“I truly believe that they should cherish their days at school and always strive to be best that they can be at whatever their true passion is. Most of all I feel as though if they are going to believe in anything, it should be themselves first and foremost.”