Staying engaged with school is up to students in the end

AS EMBARRASSING as it is to admit, in Year 12 I had the highest number of absences of any student at my high school.

And the only person I had to blame was myself - it was not my teachers' fault, the school curriculum, my friends or my parents.

Thankfully my grades were still good as I submitted every assignment and sat every exam, and I made it into my first-choice university course.

But things could have ended a whole lot different and I count my blessings every day that things panned out for me.

If I had my time back again I would have been a more diligent student and made the most of every second at school.

When I meet kids of any age, I always tell them how important it is to work hard at school and take advantage of every opportunity offered - whether it is an exchange program, excursion or an extra-curricular activity.

Reading the statistics about how many days of school students on the Sunshine Coast have missed, I feel like the blame may be placed on the wrong people.

We are all responsible for our own lives and the education we get.

Sure, our parents are there to make sure we attend school and get the best education we can, but it is the kid who ultimately makes the choice about what they get out of it.

My grandmother always used to say: "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink."

Since joining the Daily team five years ago, I have done so many stories on the amazing work our Sunny Coast schools do and the equally impressive students they produce.

I hope everyone can try to remember all the positives and just learn from the negatives.