The Covid Cohort: 2020 Leavers

I never expected it to end like this. So abruptly. My last day at school.

Yesterday was emotional. It felt surreal because we had all worked for fourteen years of our lives, yet what we were working towards had been taken away. If you told me at the start of Year 12 that I would leave school with no A levels, I wouldn’t have believed you, and not in a good way.

Throughout the day I was trying to get a sense of closure. Enjoying the time that I still had with my friends. Speaking, touching, appreciating some people for the last time. And, walking around with a lump in my throat (the tears came after).

There is still quite a bit of uncertainty at the moment so I don’t fully know whether this is the end or if we will have another day to properly close off our time at school. Either way, I wanted to write down a few of my feelings and highlight some key people and events as a chapter draws to a close.


When I started Mossbourne Community Academy, secondary school and sixth form in Hackney Downs, I found it difficult to settle in. I was distrusting of others as I was holding onto past experiences and I felt very awkward, after isolating myself through much of Year 10. However, Mossbourne made me and I feel as if I am following the school’s motto of “fulfilling your true potential”.

I’ve been through so many emotions in the school.

I remember the December of Year 12. 2018. That whole term had been rough for me. So, one day I went to mentors’ office and just started crying. Not tearing up. Not hay fever. No, full on bawling. None of the teachers really knew what to do. I just had to let it out. They ended up calling my dad and from that day I knew that something had to change.

I remember how my Head of Year worked round the clock to support me. I ended up going to CAHMS (child and adolescent mental health services provided by the NHS) in order to get better. This was made easier for me by my Head of Year, who spoke directly to the doctor and gave me special recommendation. This same Head of Year spoke to me three days into my Mossbourne career, after I told her how tough I was finding it. She didn’t even know me then but thought I was worth supporting. You could say that she was just doing her job but she actually went above and beyond what was required of her. My mum will never let me forget how my teacher called home at 7 o’clock in the evening, just to find out how I was doing. And for that type of support, I am truly grateful.

I remember how my careers teacher changed my life. I was sitting in speaker slot (a period where guest speakers would speak to Year 12s about opportunities, give them advice and reflect on their lives) in February 2019. It was the last day to get a work experience placement. I was listening to the guest speaker, Sanjay Singhal, executive producer and Chief Executive of Voltage TV, speak about his experience in documentary-making. I seized the moment and spoke to him after his talk and asked him if he had any work experience opportunities. My teacher was trying to escort him out at the time but he said yes and a couple of days later it was finalised. From there I feel like I proved myself slightly to my teacher, from someone who felt like a victim to at least a survivor.

That speaker slot was an opportunity that she provided and there were so many more along the way. I must give myself credit for taking my opportunities but through her I was able to visit so many big buildings and meet so many different people. Grocer’s Hall, McKinsey & Company, Wadham College. Dawood Gustave, Viv Regan, Louis Grieg. And, those are just a few. All of the experiences helped me prove to myself that I am valuable just as I am and encouraged me to be the best version of myself.

This is why when I started crying when I embraced my careers teacher at the gate. This is why I felt a lump in my throat when I spoke to my mentor. This is why I would always defend my Head of Year when others would say that they found her annoying. They are great people. They did many ordinary things. But, for me they were extraordinary because they allowed me and many others to start to fulfil their potential and I’m sure that they will continue to do the same for future students.


And, onto the students. Similarly, my friends have helped me so much. I’ll keep this part shorter because I’m sure I’ll see my real friends again, keep the love in my heart and always know that they’re one phone call away.

There were the people who saw something in me from the start, no matter how antisocial I was, like Aisling, Gabriel and Shania. There were the people that experienced me develop, like Tori, Tabitha, Naomi and Sanjana. And, there were the people who knew me from before, like Benaya and Malik. That’s not forgetting the countless people that I would speak to everyday. Even the people I would only see every day, who made the experience.

There were the people’s people, like Elizabeth, Mia and Esrome. The people that quietly inspired me, like Hope, Faith and Jamilah. And, the countless unsung heroes that I haven’t mentioned. Don’t feel a way. I’m sure I felt your warmth in real life and I hope I expressed my gratitude.

It’s crazy that ended like this. I’ll be there supporting though as everyone continues being great. More life, more link-ups and less Corona.

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