BRIGHT FUTURES: Dalby's top school leavers reveal plans
IT'S been an exhausting, but worthwhile year for Mikayla Leahy, who says she is looking forward to being "free" after graduating this week.
A love of kids and her caring nature inspired her to go into childcare - a job she hopes to work for the rest of her life.
"I'm going into the childcare industry and doing a Cert III, and then hopefully moving out west to be a nanny," she said.
"I just found out that I like kids and I babysit around town."
Through all the exhaustion and sleepless nights, Mikayla said all the hard work was worthwhile now that she's at the end of the road.
Mikayla's advice for upcoming year 12s is simple.
"Keep going, get through it," she said.
"It goes really fast in the end."
COMING to the final few days of school has been a surreal experience for Laney Schloss.
But it's only onward and upward for the teen, who hopes to enter the police force after graduation.
"I'll hopefully study a bachelor of criminology to get into the police force," she said.
"I've just always loved crime shows and all of that. I'm interested in that so I thought I'd give it a shot."
While Laney described the last 12 months as "fast, tiring, and eye-opening", what she says she'll miss the most is the faces she has seen every day during her time at Our Lady.
"I'll miss having that support base," she said.
"Having teachers you can go to, and seeing your friends every day."
As someone who knows just how stressful year 12 can be, Laney urged the upcoming class of 2020 to "take it easy".
"Don't stress too much," she said.
"At the end of the day, if it's not going to matter in five years don't be affected by more than five minutes. You can only do your very best."
RORY Ross described this year as "fast-paced", but for him it was definitely a good thing.
While he's excited that the year has drawn to a close, he says there are still things he'll definitely miss about school.
"I'll miss seeing all these guys," he said, looking around at his friends.
"We're considerably close, just from seeing each other every day and building those connections."
Rory wants to study psychology in Toowoomba, something that he's been working hard for all year.
"It's interesting learning about why people do things," he said.
Rory reassured the class of 2020 that the year is not as bad as it seems.
"Don't stress too much and have fun."
HARRISON Gwynne can't escape the overwhelming feeling of relief having finished year 12.
After what was a "stressful" year, Harrison is more excited than ever to head out into the real world and commence an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic, and fitter and turner.
"I've always liked mucking around with stuff," he said.
"I like pulling machinery apart and making stuff."
Harrison acknowledged that without the support of the staff at Our Lady, the year wouldn't have been as smooth-sailing.
"Thank you for everything," he said to his teachers.
"For helping us, and pushing us to do better."
Harrison offered some practical advice for the upcoming cohort of year 12s, and something that would be key to them enjoying their final year of school.
"Enjoy it while it lasts because it goes really fast," he said.
"Get on top of your assignments."
JOHN Shorter's "crazy, fun, but rewarding" year has come to a close on a high.
The future is looking bright for the teen, who has so many options to look forward to after graduation.
"I'm trying to look into doing online courses and masterclasses, but that's after going to Canada," he said.
John said he had his friends and hit teachers to thank for helping him on his high school journey.
"I'll miss just being with my friends and getting to see all the people," he said.
"Also just the teachers and having them always helping you out and helping you be the best person you can be."
John's best tip: stay organised.
"Make sure to keep track of all your dates," he said.
"Don't forget to ask for help, don't be stubborn and thing you can do it yourself, and don't think you'll be okay trying to hand in things at the last minute."
LIFE on the farm is what Texan Johnston hopes awaits him after graduating from year 12 this week.
He has made a name for himself for his skills in working with machinery and his knowledge of technology and agriculture, having won the Trade Futures Award and been recognised for his outstanding achievements in industrial graphics skills.
The future is definitely bright for the teen upon leaving school this week.
"I haven't lined up anything yet but I hope to get a job in sheet metal and building canopies and trays for utes and stuff," he said.
"After I get a trade I hope to get back on the farm and work on the farm for however long. I like doing that sort of stuff."
As someone who knows how tough the year can be, Texan offered some sage advice to his younger peers.
"Learn to be respectful of tools and other people," he said.
"Go at your own pace. Don't try and be the best."
Texan has just one thing left to say to his teachers.
"Thanks for putting up with me."
FOR Madaline Thompson, this year has been about grasping opportunities with both hands, and she urged her younger peers to do the same.
"Any opportunities you get, just take them," she said.
"Don't look back because you only get one shot. If you fail it doesn't matter, at least you tried and you had a go."
Madaline has an exciting future coming, as she prepares to go full-time on Grassdale Feedlot before heading to the Territory to try her hand at jillarooing.
But she says there are some parts of school she'll definitely miss.
"Maybe not the schoolwork, but definitely the friendships and lunchtime," she said.
"And the tuckshop."
MAX Boshammer has made his mark on the Dalby State High School community as their school captain and 2019 dux.
Now, he's ready to make his mark on the world.
"I can still remember coming in first day in grade eight, and it feels like yesterday," he said.
"But then I remember all the things we've done as a cohort and as individuals since then.
"It's been a big job but we got through it."
Max wishes to study aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Queensland, a dream born out of a love for mechanics, and pulling things apart to see how they work.
Max's advice to his peers is one that reflects his entire high school experience.
"Be respectful to your teachers," he said.
"They're there to help you and motivate you and push you to learn.
"If you give them the respect they'll give it back to you."
BRYN O'Connor has assumed the roles of many iconic characters in his time spent on the stage, performing in musicals and productions during his time at Dalby State High.
But ahead of his graduation, he's excited to explore his own opportunities and to see where life will take him.
Bryn said he was most excited to celebrate all the "lasts" of his final year at school.
From last swimming carnival to last performance on stage, it was important for him to soak in the whole experience, and advised his peers to do the same.
"Keep moving forward, and try not to get too stressed and regret things,"
"Do as many things as you can."
Bryn will be studying nursing in Brisbane, but hopes to audition for the Conservatorium of Music next year.
"I'm excited to just see where life takes me," he said.
"Whether that's nursing or doing something else."
AS JASMINE Miller prepares to walk out the gates of Dalby State High for the final time this week, she said she doesn't quite know how to feel.
"I've got mixed emotions," she said.
"I'm sad, excited, nervous."
The next stage of Jasmine's life will take her to the Gold Coast, where she hopes to study occupational therapy.
But what she's most excited for is the prospect of having "freedom" from school.
"Being able to do things when you want to do things will be good," she said.
"You don't have to follow a timetable or anything, other than uni."
Jasmine urged her younger peers to "stay true" to themselves throughout the rest of their high school journey.
"You'll be fine," she said.