Year 12 toughie

I’m the toughie of the group. I’m like the Luke Hodge or Jonathan Brown of my group. One of my closest friends who ive been to school with for thirteen years had never seen me cry until this night. I am human, of course I do show emotion (mostly when it involves my Collingwood boys) but not in public, I can’t say that I have cried in public, until this night.

For footy, the successful class of 2010 was the Collingwood Football club and boy was their teacher proud. I’m not afraid to admit it openly; I LOVE my teachers very dearly. But it wasn’t until grad night that I realised just how much.

This week was a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

I felt sad that it was the last week. I lost my voice during the year 12 stampede through the school hallways when the bell went to signal the end of our learning- what a rush!

I reflected on how fast the year went past when taking down the Collingwood pictures off my locker door and clearing out my books.

I gave out letters to my favourite teachers, who I feel I can’t leave behind and asking them to come to university with me.

I got close enough to a lip tremble during our last school assembly with the candle exit.

I laughed as for the billionth time Candy managed to almost trip.

I had a ball during our muck up day, convincingly pulling off ‘Kim Kardashian.’ (And thanks to Mr.Starkie for stopping for the photo, even if I did have to run you down in heels to get you to stop! Lol)

Then once again for the week, the rollercoaster hit the low dip but this time it wouldn’t return to a high.

Last day of school, I comforted mum and my crying friend; again you see I’m the toughie. At this point I didn’t see any point in crying, I felt a bit mixed. Then Grad night came. I was fine during the mass and for most of the grad ceremony, even at the point when atleast half the year level was in tears.

For the first time I felt like I was struggling to keep composed. I’d bite my lip, look down to the ground and exhale at a very slow rate, but still I was alright, after all im the toughie.

As I was called up to receive my certificate it should have been a proud moment, like when the players receive their grand final medals, but it wasn’t like that. It was my toughness; I walked up with a forced smile that felt so real but on the inside I wasn’t happy.

So far so good, I was still composed amongst the tear stained cheeks that surrounded me. We lit our candles one final time as our homeroom teachers took to the mic to give us their final blessing.

Ms.Polastri my only accounting teacher in year 10 and 11, my History teacher in year 10 and my Legal Studies teacher in year 11 started it off. I thought back to how bad I was in accounting, me and numbers we aren’t friends but still she persisted in me. In Legal she believed I had the potential even though I knew I couldn’t pull it off. I was like Toovey in his first season at Collingwood- looking very confused. Suddenly it was hard for me to swallow and I was biting harder on my lip.

Mr. Hogan spoke next, my Religion teacher in year 11 who was always there to put up with my questions, and even used his lunchtimes to meet up and check my work. One of my favourite teachers EVER and a passionate Collingwood man to top it off. I was now trying to concentrate on the flame at the tip of my candle; it was working…kind of.

Last to finish the blessing was my homeroom teacher/ business teacher Mr.Rawley. It’s kind of funny, I kinda saw him as the older brother I never had. He put so much work and time into me this year and the results paid off brilliantly according to my progression throughout the year. Infact business this year was my best subject. By the time he was half way through the first sentence, my eyes had given in. I was no longer Jonathan Brown but Paul Licuria on Grand final day 2002.

As we walked out in line with our candles to Kelly Clarkson’s song ‘Breakaway’ I had completely submitted to the tears, embracing my friend Heleneh who was in front of me and also crying. The domino effect played its part. Kelly who was a few people behind me began crying after trying to calm me down. My blubbering “sorries” to Kelly for making her cry because she saw me cry didn’t serve their justice.

Mum managed to find me amongst the sea of navy blue blazers and asked- “So, you want to cry now?” I couldn’t respond, after laughing at her for crying on my last day, I just buried my face in one of her hugs and blubbered “Yes…” Enter domino effect- By the time I had calmed down enough, I found myself in tears after seeing Candy and Fiona in tears. We had formed a circle, like the players do when they sing the team song, only ours wasn’t to celebrate a victory.

Mr. Rawley tried to comfort me but all I could say to him through the tears was- “You know this is your fault!” and then laugh. He was confused why it was his fault so I told him- “I was fine until you got up there and started talking!” Mum came past with the camera; of course it’s a shocking photo of me and Mr.Rawley because I had been crying for the last twenty minutes! Typical that the camera is out when I look awful.

On the way home, the realization hit harder. Sarah and I in the back seat didn’t bother to hold back the tears. She was shocked by my running eyeliner and smudged mascara- “Danni, Omg! YOU’RE CRYING! Ive never seen you cry before!” I guess there is a first time for everything.

I got home and took off my uniform for the last time. Just my blazer has so much history- Debating badge- year nine. Vice Captain badge- year ten. Seeds of Justice badge- years eleven and twelve and lastly the VCE badge for year twelve. Up went the school dress, I hung it up in my cupboard for the last time, like a footy player hanging up his boots, never to play a game a footy ever again.

For a brief moment I couldn’t find my phone. I shuffled the books on the bed. I looked over at my desk and then I realised where I’d put it. Stupid me, I had put it in my blazer pocket thinking that I’d forget to take it with me to school tomorrow….- ……but that’s the thing, there was no school tomorrow, no school ever…

I let out one of those half laughs half sobs, at my stupidity.

I was always the toughie, the Luke Hodge! -or so I thought…

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo


  1. Congrats Danni,
    Now you can really focus on the Premiership celebrations.
    cheers. I’ve been saying to the other Magpie faithful, you can only brag about a flag up until the Bathurst 1000 then its cricket season. With your study commitments I’ll allow you to indulge until the Brisbane test. Lol

  2. Danni,

    Like you, I may also be completing year 12 this year but it is clear that you have far more emotional depth than I have or ever will! Then again, I’m a boy, and you can’t compare apples with oranges, or 50 s ruckmen with 90s small forwards.
    Good luck in exams!


  3. Danni,

    Really emotional article, loved it. Almost reduced me to tears as well. Mr Rawley sounds like a really awesome guy, wish he teached at my school. Good luck with the rest of your life, i’m sure it’ll work out wonderful for you, and good luck with exams.


  4. Thanks for the comments. :)
    Make sure you all get your hands on 2mros Herald Sun! i was lucky enough to have been approached to write an opinion piece on celebration day (muck up day) which will be published in 2mros paper. :)

  5. John Butler says

    Danni, enjoy it while it lasts.

    The whole grown up thing can be overrated. :)

  6. Phil Dimitriadis says

    It was Johnny Cougar who sang: “Hold on to 16 as long as you can…changes come around real soon make us women and men” Could be 17 in your case.

    Make the most of it Danni. At 41 I’m still great friends with many high school mates. Crying is healthy and cathartic. Let rip and whenever you’re down you know that you can always play THE DVD. Best of luck :)

  7. 5- Im trying to JB, exams dampen the spirit though.

    6- Phil. more like hold onto 18 in my case :)

  8. John Butler says

    Phil, can you give us an air guitar solo to go with the tune?

  9. Danni,

    big lesson in ongoing school blazer management.

    Mothballs: no matter how bad they smell; mothballs.

    There is nothing worse than going to the wardrobe at some time in the future and finding the silverfish have taken a liking to your footy and swimming colours on the blazer pocket and the whole bloody thing disintergrates before you can say Christ I’m fifty.

  10. Phil,

    Cats in the Cradle does it for me.

  11. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Good point Phantom,

    when my daughter becomes a teenager I’ll probably be humming that tune. 3 years left!

    JB, I just played the song while going to work on the tennis racquet with the bread clip…just for you :)

  12. Stephanie Holt says

    Lovely article Danni.

    Do enjoy this moment, as it is fleeting, and unlike footy you can’t come back next season. (Well, not unless you flunk out of all your exams which you clearly won’t!)

    I hope you can top off a great year with your final exams too. Unfortunately as a Saint it hurts me to say that you may be on a roll.

  13. Steve Healy says

    Congratulations on graduating, nice piece, and well done on getting the Herald Sun thingo

  14. Maria!!!! *hugs*

    Sad, but sounds like a beautiful end to your schooling career!!! I wish you all the best for your exams – you’re gonna be a star, trust me. We Marias know these things ;)

    It’s fantastic to read how close you are to your friends and teachers – don’t let your bonds of friendship fall!!! Make the effort to keep them up :-)

    All the best!
    Maria xoxox

  15. Phantom- mothballs, got it!

    Stephanie- Thanks, yeah i hop ei dont fail, that would be, as historian Orlando Figes would say ‘A people’s tragedy’

    Steve- Thanks!

    MARIAAAAA!!!! :) thankyou soo much :)

  16. Dave Nadel says

    Danni, I saw your article in the Hun this morning. Congratulations. Is this the start of your journalistic career?

  17. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Congratulations for the Herald Sun article, Danni. Good on you for disputing the ‘eggs and alcohol’ stereotype, which the media likes to propagate.

    The irony is that the people who criticise the youth of today were probably doing similar things and worse when they were teenagers. How quickly we forget!

    I’m sure this is one of many thoughtful articles we will see from you in the future. Well done.:)

  18. Peter Flynn says

    Ditto #16 and #17.


  19. 16- Dave, thanks :) haha i hope it is, its a dream start- luck played a big part.
    Now i need to edge my piece closer towards the sports section, closer to a piece by Jon Ralph :)
    How about helping me out with a scholarship to Monash so i study Arts there ey?;)

    17- Thanks Phil!
    Yeah, its the point i wanted to make. People mostly think about the negatives and assume the worst but the day is just about having fun. :)
    Like i said above, just need to nudge my piece further towards the sports section next time hopefully!(in a few years perhaps?) lol

    18- Thanks Peter :)

  20. Steve Healy says

    Very well done Danni, I just got home and I managed to get my hands on a Herald Sun, and it was very exciting to see your article in it. I agree with how you said that the day is making the most of the precious time with your friends, that’s definitely true. A small minority do spoil the fun. Isn’t it funny that one article can make an entire paper so much better?

    From Steve ;)

  21. Peter Flynn says


    Actually you got me thinking about my last day of Year 12. It was 26 years ago.

    The memories came flooding back. Silly harmless stunts. Yes a few beers were involved.

    I was more emotional on my last day of Year 12 than anticipated.


  22. Danni – nice read. Most people don’t realise what a huge step leaving school is. You do. Good luck in the exams but don’t stress – its just the start of your learning, not the end.

    I still see blokes I went to school with. We lunch about 2 or 3 times a year. Very strong bonds there. I hope you have the same with your mates.

  23. Damian Watson says

    Great work Danni,

    It must be a daunting experience to leave the school system after a dozen or so years. I still have a couple of years remaining until my time comes.

    I’m sure you have an optimistic outlook towards the future and if you work hard you will certainly reapo the resulting rewards.

  24. Damian Watson says


  25. 20- Thanks steve :) but i think you give me too much credit there. The entire paper in general is GREAT!:)…oh wait thats’re an AGE guy :P

    21- Me too, i thought that there was no way, NO WAY that id end up crying the way i did! But the whole thing was just very emotional. :(

    22- Dips, never fear! This year ive taken a ‘no stress’ approach. Im going to do my best to remain calm and focussed, who knows it may help the outcome!
    i hope i will be able to maintain the friendships ive formed like you have.

    23- DUCKIE! :) promise me you will make the most of the moments you have left at school, because the day will come where you will miss it!

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