I’d heard of NCS through mates that had done it over summer and they’d said it was a laugh and I should’ve done it. I was still skeptical and thought that it probably would’ve been a waste of my time. When I heard that my parents had signed me up for the Autumn 2016 programme, I was pretty annoyed with them as I had told them I didn’t want to go. 

I reluctantly went to the first part of the programme at PGL. When I got there I met up with people that I knew through school and sorted out our accommodation. I went round all the rooms with the aim of being annoying, but managed to make some friends instead. I was surprised at how social NCS was from the start and I made some good friends that I still keep in contact with now.

I was pretty adventurous before I went on NCS and perhaps didn’t overcome anything physically, but I learned a lot through seeing other people facing their fears. NCS is very diverse and I got to know and understand people with a variety of personalities and became very confident in meeting new people and working in a team. The group games we played right at the beginning like Two Truths and a Lie provided us with great opportunity to get to know people, and I was surprised to how much more I discovered about my friends. During this week, I took on new challenges like fencing, filmmaking, self-defence, orienteering, painting and how to start a successful business.

After NCS, I was noticeably more confident in my friendship group. I would introduce myself to more people and talk to pretty much anyone as if I’d known them for years. I made new friends which I’ve gone and experienced even more new things with following NCS. I have started volunteering and have signed up for the Gold DOFE award. This decision was inspired in part by my experiences on NCS, as I wanted to achieve something in a group - just like I did with NCS.

NCS is more than just something to put on your CV - it has made me a more rounded person. Companies and universities will know that there is something more to me than just my grades, because I am an NCS graduate.

I’m so lucky that my parents signed me up because I know I wouldn’t have signed up for the programme by myself. I would’ve missed out on all the things I experienced on NCS and I wouldn’t be who I am today.