I have been at Stellenbosch Waldorf School since kindergarten and now looking back, I would not replace it for any other education experience. The level of growth and maturity I have gained from opportunities that were provided by our Waldorf School, along with a confidence and belief in myself, which has slowly built up over the years, is a valuable foundation which I will draw from and depend on into my adult life.
Yes, times were difficult, especially in the last two years when we had to work rigorously on a daily basis with the Cambridge syllabus. There were many situations where I was pushed to do things out of my comfort zone; the Class 12 projects, the plays and the job shadow work experience, etc. However, every time I fought to overcome my fear or resistance. I worked hard and I persevered and I always made it out on the other side, feeling more confident, stronger and realising the endless measure of my capabilities and the opportunity of accomplishing so much more.
An example of this is when we were in Class 10 and we had a main lesson which called for the whole class to explore the world of work. We had to set up placements to pursue something that we were interested in, to shadow in one or two organisations, in order to experience what it is like in the big, wide world. This was a life changing experience for me. I have always been fascinated with event management and the beauty and creativity of weddings. I was so fortunate to find a place in an organisation which is the very business I wanted to explore when I left school.
This is what the Waldorf experience has given me. Lastly, the level of emotional intelligence that I experienced from teachers at my school allowed for meaningful connections with every one of them, which one cannot easily find in a school. Over the years there was always immense attention afforded to every student, with individual recognition and this made me feel as though I had a second family supporting me, when times were tough.
I am walking into adulthood with many valuable lessons that the Waldorf approach has taught me. Lessons that are far more than just academic knowledge, but lessons about mental and emotional resilience, belief in oneself and a different yet positive way to embrace life.
Stephanie achieved a SAQA pass with an impressive A in Business Studies (AS); a B in Art (AS); and an A in both French and Travel and Tourism (IGCSE). Stephanie is currently working in hospitality as a Front of House Manger, having returned from her travels in France she enjoyed developing her conversational French and her first of many explorations of the world.