Graduating students from Qatar Academy Al Khor reveal what their years at the school have meant to them, and what the next chapter in their story holds
After many years, long days of study, countless sleepless nights, successes, accomplishments, challenges, and obstacles, graduating from school can feel like both an end and a new beginning.
I am definitely so excited about it. Just like when I started school, this new phase of my life is going to teach me new things and allow me to experience what I’ve never experienced before
It is a time that creates a mixture of many emotions, and that is certainly true for graduating students at Qatar Academy Al-Khor (QAK) – part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education – as they blend the happiness sparked by their achievements with a tinge of sadness over the pandemic-imposed separation of their colleagues and teachers, and their enthusiasm about the start of a fresh chapter in their lives.
“It’s a really huge and emotional step, which I feel like no nobody can ever be fully ready for,” said Rahaf Ibrahim Al-Mohannadi, one of the students graduating from QAK this year. “I am definitely so excited about it. Just like when I started school, this new phase of my life is going to teach me new things and allow me to experience what I’ve never experienced before.
“I’ve only been at QAK for three years but, during that time, I have learned so much. I have learned how to become a more confident person, and how to become a risk-taker and accomplish things that take me out of my comfort zone. Apart from being on stage to perform several times, which I thought was something I was incapable of, I also got the chance to help run many events.
“The school also taught me how to never be afraid to say what’s on my mind, due to the ease and calmness of my teachers. They always heard me out no matter what my issue was or how small it might seem to be, and they have always done their best to help me find a solution.”
Al- Mohannadi doesn’t hide her sadness that she and her peers, due to COVID-19, have not had the chance to celebrate their graduation together, but added: “We have to believe that everything happens for a reason.
I’m very hopeful for the future, as I see it more challenging and a window to opportunities that I’ve worked hard for in the past years
We can’t ignore it and act like everything is alright, but we still have to be hopeful and continue aiming to reach our goals and dreams, in a safe manner.
“In the future, I will pursue the career that I have always dreamed of, which is interior design, and I would want to study at QF, especially because it has a university with my dream major.”
Fellow QAK graduate Ali Al-Muhannadi said: “In my 12 years at the school, I have spent happy moments that will accompany me throughout my life.
“I learned a lot from my teachers, who have always encouraged me to persevere and achieve, and led me to discover that what I thought was impossible one day can been achieved the next. I'm thankful to all my teachers, and the friends with whom I have shared happy times that I will never forget.
“During my studies at QAK, I have also gained many skills. I mastered many technical skills, as well as the skill of purposeful discussion - I have always enjoyed discussing ideas with teachers and other students.”
Al Muhannadi’s key goal is to contribute to the development of his country, Qatar, as he looks to the new chapter of his life, by completing his university studies and becoming an engineer.
Also looking to the future as she graduates from QAK is Aldana Jubran Al-Abdlie, who said:
“Considering how stressful and hectic the last year of high school has been, I’m really glad I get to relax a little now!
“Further ahead, I’m very hopeful for the future, as I see it more challenging and a window to opportunities that I’ve worked hard for in the past years. Before joining QAK, I’d never been in an International Baccalaureate school, so QAK has helped me to build my overall character - from public speaking and writing essays to discovering new talents. I can wholeheartedly say I wouldn’t have evolved into the better version of myself had I not been in QAK.
“I’m disappointed that our last year together at QAK had to come to an end in this unexpected way, because of the pandemic. But, as I always say, it is what it is, and life goes on. It’s better to try and look at things positively, rather than dwell on a past that we can’t change, and I’m actually flattered that we, as 2020 graduates, get to experience a different way of graduating.
“I can’t say that I don’t have any fears or concerns for my future. But just as how we found alternative ways of keeping life moving during this pandemic, we can continue to do so in the future. We will just have to push through it and do our best to not let this virus get the better of us.”