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Making time for leisure activities was key for top PMB matric achievers

Top achievers Gemma Bernhard and Maeve Miranda from The Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Supplied.

Top achievers Gemma Bernhard and Maeve Miranda from The Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jan 19, 2022


TAKING time for leisure activities was important for The Wykeham Collegiate pupils who performed well in the Independent Examinations Board exams.

Maeve Miranda said the final matric exams were a little scary, but also exciting. She said she was an introvert, and that both the pandemic and online learning had turned her into more of an introvert.

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“I usually don’t talk to people, and with Covid-19 I was isolated, which made me become even more distant with my friends, and I’m struggling to reintegrate,” she said.

She said she found that riding horses and playing the piano was a welcome break from her schoolwork. She added that during the week of the unrest, her school gave them a light workload. “It kept us busy during the day and provided a sense of routine.”

She said she felt more stressed during the moments leading up to an exam paper than during the actual exam. “I don’t get stressed during the exams, I feel the exams are where I can shine,” she said, adding that the most terrifying part was when the exam paper was being handed out and the rules were read out.

Her advice to the Class of 2022 was not to get stressed and panic at the beginning of the year, but to rather take it on as it comes. She will either be

studying medicine or molecular biology at Wits or Stellenbosch University.

Gemma Bernhard said the final exams were challenging and she was anxious to find out how well she did. She said what was also challenging was the pandemic and the violent unrest last year.

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“I found it hard to maintain the focus on studying,” she said. She added that what eased her stress during the challenging times was to have

the support of her fellow pupils, who were going through the same things, as well as the teachers.

She added that another stress reliever was taking her beagle for a walk every day.

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“I really enjoyed walking my dog for at least half an hour to unwind, relax and keep my mind off school work,” she said.

She plans to study actuarial science at the University of Pretoria.


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