'Getting these results justified the strikes': Climate Activist talks lockdown, results and passing exams while on protesting

Young climate activist Dylan Hamilton, 17, achieved five A’s in his highers despite protesting for climate change nearly every week, and living with a chronic illness.
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The young activist suffers from a long term condition which has symptoms similar to long covid, principally - and most difficult for him given his school work – fatigue.

Dylan has a large following on Twitter, over 6,000 followers, due to his involvement in Scottish climate protests and is vocal about the need for action against the need to fight climate change.

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The teenager, who has just completed his fifth year at St. Kentigern’s in Blackburn, spoke about his experience with school in the last year.

Dylan Hamilton has spoken about balancing environmental activism with schoolwork in the pandemic.Dylan Hamilton has spoken about balancing environmental activism with schoolwork in the pandemic.
Dylan Hamilton has spoken about balancing environmental activism with schoolwork in the pandemic.

He said: "I feel relieved, vindicated almost, to get the results I did because it was a very hard year.

"A lot of people were saying I should have prioritised my education over my involvement in climate strikes.

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"Getting these results justified the strikes, so many people were saying I was going to fail.

Dylan HamiltonDylan Hamilton
Dylan Hamilton
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“My attendance suffers obviously because of my protests, when they weren’t on I was barely in school anyway because of lockdowns.

“I’m okay at teaching myself, but I still didn’t really know if I was doing it properly.

“It was already difficult to find motivation. When winter came it got worse, I was stuck inside all day and trying to fight through chronic fatigue symptoms, only to go online and see thousands of people dying to covid each day, it became nearly impossible to get any work done.”

Despite doing so well this year, Dylan did not see success with his exam results last year, he tells: “Last year, I was really busy during prelim time.

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"I had to crash prelims and all our grades had to go on was estimates from them for our final grades.

“My school wasn’t in the best catchment area, and my grades all got downgraded.

"I was given a C in a subject when my lowest grade for the whole year was 80%.

“But everybody has their own goals, school isn’t everything. I got those grades with probably around 20% attendance, so your education doesn’t have to be conventional.”

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Dylan plans to take a gap year before going to Glasgow university for Geography and Sociology.

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