It is hard to imagine how finishing and leaving school in 2022 could be more of a worry than it was for the pupils who left in 2021 or 2020.
2020 and 2021 Leavers faced a final year of school with…
All of the concerns that Covid19 brought:
- at a personal level for their own health, and, probably more impactfully, the health of family and friends
- the worries that the pandemic brought concerning their education:
- Not knowing whether they were going to be in school next week, or even tomorrow
- Changes that online learning brought to their lives – it suited some, others hated it
- No idea whether exams would be happening or what form they might take
- How grades might be decided if exams don’t happen
- What important lessons, topics, subjects, theories, facts, processes and personal lessons were being missed and how they might affect either their future education, their job prospects or even on a bigger scale their whole life
- the economic worries caused by seeing parets, grandparents, older siblings etc furloughed or out of a job due to Covid19
- the conflicts caused in some families about whether or not people should receive the vaccines
- the threat of shortages in the shops. Many found the threat of toilet paper shortages particularly worrying🙂
…faced less stress and trauma than those who left in 2021. In large part, this was because the pandemic wasn’t really up and running before they were affected or before they left. There was less knowledge about the scale/scope of problems facing them and the rest of society across the world. Whether or not to be vaccinated was still a problem to dream about rather than a reality for everyone in 2020.
Also, importantly, 2020 leavers faced a much shorter period of disruption to their education and would not have been so worried about the future and their future. None of us was in the early days – including it seems the decision-makers who possibly could have had an impact.
Added to the issues which the pandemic caused or impacted, the worries that Brexit was beginning to highlight also added to the stresses faced for pupils leaving school in 2021.
Again, 2020 leavers saw much less of the impact Brexit might have on them, their families and UK society as a whole.
2022 Leavers must have an easier time of it, mustn’t they?
With everything relaxing on the Covid19 front initial thoughts might indicate that students will face a less worry-filled year before leaving in 2022.
But, at the time of writing, in Autumn 2021, things are not looking a whole lot rosier than they were at this time last year.
- Covid19 has not gone away.
- More young people across the UK are reported to have caught the virus than at any other time.
- Absence from school is higher than previously.
- Stories in the news are pointing to a hard winter during which Covid19, the Flu and the common cold are likely to be running rampant.
- Forecasts of a possible 100,000 new cases a day are doing the rounds, again.
- The stories of shortages in the shops and on the forecourts are still coming to light.
- Energy prices are going through the roof and are forecast to go up again in Spring 2022.
- Gas and Electric supply companies are biting the dust.
On the plus side
There are some definite pluses. Things that have changed or where the knowledge gained during 2021 will make life easier, less worrisome, for 2022 leavers.
- Pupils, parents and teachers, now have a better understanding of how the grading system will work if exams are affected next summer
- Online learning processes are in place if required at any point during the year
- Death rates are significantly down, as are occurrences of severe suffering caused by the pandemic
- Overall, the worst of the pandemic is probably behind us, and only the very pessimistic are looking forward to the spring and summer of 2022 with anything other than optimism.
- School trips are being organised again.
- Social interactions between classmates, in and out of school, are allowed—making school a more fun place to be and evenings and weekends more relaxing
- Masks are not hiding the faces of pupils, teachers or support staff so communication is easier all round
- Parties for leavers will almost certainly be allowed next year
The final, and probably the most significant, difference between leaving school in 2020/2021 and in 2022 is within the young adults affected. All have seen the world in a new light. Almost all have matured during the pandemic. And, they have done it faster than the students of previous years. There is nothing like a major disaster or social upheaval—think wars, widespread riots, pandemics etc—for ensuring that the youth of a country (or in this case the world) grow up more quickly than the youths of the years just before the disaster.
They have all seen the worry inflicted by circumstances on the preceding year group. They have seen how sacrifice works and how it doesn’t matter your race, religion, colour, sexual orientation, wealth, age etc—you can still be hurt by events. And they have experienced first hand how you can need help and how you can help others through those same events.
The young adults who have had their education interrupted by the pandemic may have lost out on some of their formal education but what they lost in Maths, Chemistry and French, etc they have made up for in seeing and experiencing the world as an adult. Possibly for many before their time was due!
So, by comparison…
2022 school leavers will, in most cases, be facing lower levels of uncertainty and worry than the students who finished their schooling in 2021 or 2020. The pupils who will be leaving are more mature and probably have a very different perspective on the world than previous leaving year groups.
The Leavers Hoodies Company has been supplying hoodies to school leavers for over a decade and every year we wish the ex-pupils well. We hope everyone who wears one of our hoodies (and those that don’t) has a happy and successful life after school.