Upper School Choice - chess

No time to say goodbye – a Y13 student on life in limbo

12th May 20

Student giving a Tedx talk

Henry S, is a Y13 student who should have been taking his final exams and celebrating the end of his school journey. Instead, he’s at home, wondering what it all means. He shared his thoughts with us.

“Despite the clear signs that we may enter some form of lockdown as draconian measures were adopted around the world, it seemed a surprise to most of us in the UK when, finally, schools were closed and we were urged to stay home.

For me – a student approaching my final A level exams which would decide my grades and much of my future – the biggest shock was unequivocally the closure of schools and the news that those A level exams wouldn’t take place. For many A level students this left something of a void in our lives. For the majority, revising to achieve the grades we were targeting was our one almighty goal and challenge – at least until mid-June when most of us had a summer of trips, fun and festivals lined up. But what of that remains anymore?

So in a time period without any clear goals our challenge as Year 13s, and as people, is to create our own projects and missions – to keep ourselves entertained, if nothing else.

Personally, Call of Duty, table tennis and even a few musical projects have been my biggest interests and occupations during this time. I had a a short lived phase of going on bi-daily runs to spice it up. None of these things, though, have felt like real goals, more things-we-made-up-as-we-went-along. The main challenge, to be completed, achieving A levels we could be happy with, was gone.

This time, it must be said, has provided a fantastic opportunity for some students to hone skills or engage in artistic projects, but for me much of lockdown has been devoid of inspiration. I’m lucky to live pretty contently with the comforts of family, food and Netflix keeping me happy. Some students have used the lockdown to focus on their fitness – taking advantage of once daily exercise to go on runs. The recent emergence of the run 5(km), tag 5(people) donate 5 (pounds) trend is testament to this.

Whether it be Netflix, cooking, running, gaming, reading or any other hobby, the biggest task of this lockdown has been to find ways to pass the time and take our minds off the cruel reality we currently face. But it doesn’t feel like enough. Should our only goals right now be to create our own bespoke set of distractions until the pandemic has been brought under control? And what then? What comes after this?

It has become difficult to imagine what will happen when we come out. It will undeniably difficult for many of us to pick up where we left off and that will come with its own set of challenges.

But to end on a positive note for us Year 13 students, many of us can rest assured knowing the next step in our lives was going to be a big change anyway – and so we will not have to attempt to pick up where we left off neither academically or socially. We were already preparing to leave KAS. The other silver lining, is that this lockdown has given many (including myself) the opportunity to spend valuable time with our families before we leave home. As my mum put it, this could make us look back rather fondly on this strange time.”




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