Evie (centre)


By Evie, Year 13

I know by now we’re all quite accustomed to sitting in this space – we’ve had just over a week’s worth of assemblies, we eat in here, we spend our breaks and our ‘superviseds’ in here. This is by no means an authentic Sixth Form experience, but isn’t it just so wonderful to be back?

Three months ago, none of this was a sure thing. Life was uneasy and unsettling for a long time. Indeed, as I stand in front of you now, it’s still true that we have no idea what lies three months in the future. We could be anywhere – quite literally in these Covid times. But in many ways there’s a case for reminding ourselves that an action we take today may well determine where we go and who we are by the time Christmas rolls around. For that is indeed what comes in three months. Our first term back will have gone like a flash and more than ever we need to appreciate the now.

But I understand that’s far easier said than done – getting to Christmas at the moment feels likes this huge mountain we have to climb. And on that theme by the way, we all have mountains to climb. Yesterday afternoon it was quite literally that big hill on the Westwick Run which is perhaps not so aptly named if you’re walking it like I was.

Now sometimes those mountains are more metaphorical – problems at home or with your mates, settling into a new environment for the Lower 6th and for the Upper 6th, getting through all the joy that ‘Exam Week’ will bring. There will always, always, be something else to do, and another mountain to climb. But in no time at all, the SFC will feel like home for the Lower 6th and, somehow, we Year 13s will get to the end of our exams.

My apologies for continuing with such a clichéd metaphor but, when we eventually got to the top of that hill yesterday, we were able to see how far we’d come. And I hope that the majority of you did indeed glance behind you to see that gorgeous view we were rewarded with. For life is stressful and chaotic, but when you do get the top of your mountains, remembering to stop and take stock of how far you’ve come is so, so important. You’re allowed to be proud of yourself. I guarantee you all ran up that hill faster than I walked it, but hey, we all got up the hill: all progress is progress.

We’re all further along in our Sixth Form journey than we were a week ago. Some of you may be glad, some terrified. Whichever category you fall into or between –I’m certainly the latter, I want to say the same thing. Savour your time here, in this space, in the Covid times and the normal.

Life is short. Be brave and try new things, be compassionate towards your fellow humans and be grateful for the life you’re living. But also, have perspective – you’re doing the best you can and that will always be enough.