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A Guide to Surviving Loreto

Updated: Feb 2

By Nikie Yang

Welcome back to a brand new year of school, Normo girls! We all know 2024 will be another jam-packed year full of excitement, including Music Fest, athletics carnival and manyyyyyy dancing in the quad sessions. For all the incoming Year 7s - good luck! You’ll need it for these turbulent years ahead.

As we all ease into a new school year, many of us will begin to remember the multiple all-nighters, tears, Tetris-loaded classes, last-minute cramming, early mornings and painful double-integrated lessons we must endure again. Or maybe that's just my personal Loreto experience. 

Suffice it to say, I have experienced many not-so-great moments, such as completing my ENTIRE modern historical investigation assignment in two nights (not recommended- my fault, we had a month to do it), which to this day, I still do not know how I achieved?! Thanks to my many years of ineptitude, this article will help you all avoid making the same mistakes I did and help you all try to enjoy Loreto to the best of your ability!  

We all know Loreto has developed the renowned ‘FACE’ model, which embodies Normo. This guide will be based on the model to ensure there is advice for everyone in every aspect at Loreto. 


1. It's okay if you're not Catholic at Loreto


For all the year 7's wondering about this, it's completely okay not to be Catholic. Loreto has masses occasionally, but they are inclusive of everyone and if you open yourself up to them, they can be lots of fun - especially singing ‘Oceans’ together.


I recommend participating in the midday gongs, tutor group prayers and reflections, even if you are not particularly religious, as they're good for moments of reflection and feeling recharged during a busy day. Instead of thinking that prayer times don't apply to you, open yourself up and try to listen actively!


2. Get a good night's sleep before mass or assembly….


I'm not saying mass is boring, but the dark lights, music and soothing voices contribute to creating the perfect sleepy environment. This is a pro tip to avoid getting concern records as teachers have some sort of 6th sense to spot if you're dozing off.

Advice from Niamh (Liturgy Captain, AKA a very kind person):

Faith is a big part of life at Loreto, the key would to be get involved! Come along to Friday Morning Communion (FMC), volunteer to read a prayer of the faithful, and put your hand up for readings or roles in whole school Masses, for year 5/6 join OCAL or for year 7 join OCAR!

 There are so many opportunities to meet girls from other years and all the year 12 Euchi mins, liturgy leaders and I are so excited for you to get involved and will make sure you feel welcome and at home. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to get involved!


1. FOOD + DRINKS = Albert Einstein 

My studies have shown that food helps you do better in the long term because of energy and all that sciency stuff (I dropped science the minute I could- just me), whereas caffeinated beverages are a massive help as they increase energy levels, improve focus and enhance cognitive abilities - can you tell I googled that? 

I would recommend learning the art of quick snacking on the way to class, especially if you didn't get the chance to finish your recess or lunch (or a stealthy snack in class, but I do not approve this message).  

Coffee and energy drinks are a lifesaver. Not that weak oak coffee stuff from the canteen (did you know it only contains 1% of coffee POWDER), but a proper coffee from the cafe. Or you can snort some coffee beans (joke- do not). Either works. Do not listen to what science has said, because I vividly remember Year 9 science, where I found the fact that coffee DOES NOT stunt your growth and I’m living proof of it (I’m 165 cm 😃).

I wouldn’t recommend daily consumption of energy drinks, just because those things look like they’ve been rotting away for years in their cans, but they are always a good backup for all-nighters or during exam blocks. If you’re not a fan of caffeine, I can only advise you to get a good night's sleep most of the time or force your tastebuds to like it. But I am in awe and look up to those who don’t drink coffee because I have no idea how you’re still functioning. 

2. For Years 7-10: Don’t take it too seriously!

This is mainly for the younger years, but do not take these years too seriously! Please put everything into perspective, because a bad mark in Years 7-10 truly does not go towards anything and no one will ever ask you what you got in a subject in Year 10. I’m not suggesting you should be slack in class and not do any of the work or not try in your assignments and tests, but don’t push yourself to a breaking point either because it won’t be the end of the world. It’s so common to get burned out if you're constantly studying, and you won’t have as much motivation left for the years that truly count.

It is important to build a good foundation of knowledge and skills for your upcoming years, as well as use those years to discover which study methods work best for you, which will help you in your senior years to do the best you can. But have fun in class and on the weekends, and use that time to develop your friendships and get to know other girls rather than going to the library and studying all the time. 

The bottom line is to try your best and remember that an assignment is NEVER worth a tear. Tears are saved for when you don’t get Taylor tickets. 

3. How to get through a boring class 

There’s no such thing as a boring class! All classes are valuable and rich in knowledge (I was forced to write this).

HYPOTHETICALLY, if you ever moved to another school where they did have boring classes, these hypothetical tips could be of use.

  • Playing video games such as Tetris or 2048 cupcakes is SO obvious, so if anyone was hypothetically playing these during class, I’d recommend looking up now and then and looking engaged, but it's probably the most obvious thing to do if you’re bored. 

  • Drawing on paper and doing cute little doodles is always fun and a little bit more discreet. You can always draw lines and create a drawing from that or just fill the page up with doodles - Tom Gates is always really good at that iykwim.

  • Making food out of paper. This is incredibly obvious unless you're sitting at the very back hidden behind your laptop. But, if you ever have any scissors and highlighters on yourself it's quite fun to make sushi rolls out of scrap paper and start a little shop.

However, please do try to pay attention to all the hardworking teachers, who have put heaps of effort into making classes enjoyable. These tips are only if you have free time in class and don’t know what to do…. 

4. Pro tips on pulling all-nighters and last-minute studying 

Leaving your assignments to the last minute is a very stressful thing to do, but it is so reasonable if you do because we all have lives and honestly who starts assignments the minute you get them (ok, some people, but obviously not me)?? 


  • I would never recommend doing assignments the night before; probably start it 3 days (or should that be 3 weeks?) before it's due at the latest. 

  • If you are given the notification a month or so before the due date, remember that there's a reason for it - it may include submitting peer reviews, which you probably can’t do at 2 am before it is due at 8:20 am the same day, so always plan accordingly so you’re never put in a position like that. 

  • Know your limits: use Years 7-10 to work out if you work better under pressure for assignments, for which starting last minute can be extremely effective, or if you do better doing it bit by bit.

  • If you’re allowed teacher feedback: GET SOME! Teachers are here to help you constantly improve, so if you’re allowed for verbal or written feedback, do not start last minute! 

  • In the rare case that you do an assignment the night before, use some time to do EXTENSIVE planning and schedule to make sure you’ll be able to complete it. Feel free to email me if you need a copy of my 2-day long assignment schedule which was planned to the minute. 


  • Studying the night before is semi-acceptable depending on the conditions, but try to get some sleep, as it helps you retain your knowledge.

  • If you’re pulling an all-nighter to study, make sure you take breaks and move around a bit, the Pomorado method would be extremely helpful for this.

  • Use ‘ATAR Notes’ to help you find notes, if you don’t have time to make any!

  • Past papers, flashcards, and practice responses are always the best to help you study. 

  • Highlighting paper = ineffective. 

Advice from Phoebe (Academic Activities Captain, AKA the smartest person I know):

One thing I wish I knew when I was younger is that if you find even one thing interesting about what you’re learning it makes studying so much more enjoyable! And if you pay attention in class, you have more time outside of school to do fun things :)


1. Interact with your Tutor group

As corny as it sounds, the Tutor group is your little family at Loreto. It's never too late to try to reach out and bond with your tutor group and develop those friendships with older or younger students - it's very beneficial as they loop you in on their year group drama, which is somehow always so much more interesting. 

Some ways you can try to develop your tutor group bond include: 

  • Make a food and birthday roster at the beginning of the year and FOLLOW THROUGH: I know many tutor groups are guilty of creating food rosters and then forgetting about them after a few weeks. There is no better way to bond than through food. 

  • Make a group chat on social media, so even the graduating girls can stay in touch with everyone + it’s easier to organise who brings in food.

  • Make a joint Spotify playlist! This way you can all connect over music and play it during sit with me picnics and tutor time.

2. Participate in all the community events

Participate in all the athletic and swimming carnivals, music festivals (including the rehearsals), Normo fusion and so many others, to the best of your ability! Dress up crazy and according to the theme for the carnivals. Sign up for whatever events you can with your friends and skip the entire race. Participate in Normo Fusion and drag your friends along. So many schools don’t get these fun opportunities like we do, so we may as well take advantage of it to the best of our abilities! 

Give all these events your all, because before you know it you’ll be experiencing your last ones and regretting the fact you skipped athletics carnivals or never got to experience Normo fusion at least ONCE in the 6 years here.

Advice from Lucy (School Captain, AKA kindest person ever):

As 2024 is the year of Sincerity, it is especially important to give everything a go, be honest and open with those around you, be gentle to those around you and most of all be you! Make the most of this wonderful education girls! 

“The Loreto FACE curriculum provides so many opportunities for us girls to give everything a go!”

Extra Curricular

1. Sign up for what you love

Every year, Loreto has an EC fair with all the different clubs Loreto has to offer and I would recommend exploring all of them - you may find something you truly love. If you’re in the younger years, sign up for everything and get a little taste before you commit! I promise the clubs won’t go hunting for you if you stop showing up. 

If you’re passionate about something, join the club you’re interested in, not what would look the best on a resume! 

2. Have a balance 

It’s great if you do a range of activities, but don’t fill up all your time with them! Make sure you leave time to study and hang out with friends, instead of signing up for everything just because you think it’ll benefit you. Committing to one club for years would stand out more than having a list of short-term clubs.

Having a good balance between studying, committing to extra-curriculars, seeing your friends and having time for down days to watch Netflix and do nothing is the key to doing well! 

3. Peer teams! 

If you’re not a fan of sports or don’t like any of the term sports on offer, I’d recommend getting a few friends together and creating a peer team to try something new. Peer teams are so much fun, non-competitive and unserious, and are a great way to fill up your Saturdays, if you don't usually have anything on. Some of my favourite memories I have are with my friends on our peer teams throughout the years, and we would all highly recommend making one as it’s a good change of scenery. 

Advice from Tahlia (School Vice-Captain, AKA the busiest person ever):

Loreto offers some of the most incredible extracurriculars that so many schools in NSW don’t ever get the chance to have. I never realised this until I spoke to my friends from other schools and they were shocked at the opportunities we have here. So take advantage of these!

I honestly recommend filling up your plate in the junior years, and I know that sounds crazy. But when you get into your senior years of study it may be more difficult to join new extracurriculars due to workload, stress or simply not having the energy! 

“So starting in your junior years is the BEST way to find out what you love first.”

Join a debate team, ethics Olympiad, mock mediation the list goes on. Who cares if you absolutely hate it, you can at least say you gave it a red hot go and have the experience, and who knows if you try it and end up being amazing after some practice—you could be our future politicians! 


This isn’t to say that you can’t do an extracurricular in your senior years either, you definitely should! Not only does it look awesome on your resume for jobs and for university applications coming up, but it helps you make so many more friends before school finishes up.


The extracurricular part of our FACE curriculum is easily overlooked with only doing sports, and as much as I love sports and the teams I’m in, I truly encourage you to get involved in other extracurriculars around the school because it can foster so many new talents and opportunities for you to grow!

That's just a small summary of all the tips we have for everyone. Make sure to enjoy 2024!


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