Somehow the five years at Wellington turned out to be the best years of my life. Wellington is more than just a school – for me it’s a place where many of my lifelong friendships were born and where defining moments happened. I owe it to this place for making me the person I am today – much of my beliefs, values, and aspirations were formed during my time there. And I owe this to the generosity of the bursary programme and academic scholarship which enabled me to attend.
Wellington was not an easy place when I started – in fact I distinctly remember feeling incredibly left out and clueless in my first year. I was an awkward 13 year old kid from a working class background who had never been away from home, thrown into this new environment that was as far from home as any. It was full of lad-culture, hierarchy and was quite hostile to anyone who was seen as different.
This all contributed towards the way I saw and defined myself, as it did for many of my peers.
When I look back at my five years, I don’t remember it by my time as Head of College in U6th, but rather by my time in 3rd form – always feeling out of place. I will always remember this as being the hardest year of growing up. But this helped me realise what I wanted to be; that I desperately wanted to make a fairer and more equal place where everyone could feel valued.
And in retrospect I think I owe much of these realisations to the interactions I had with people I encountered along the way.
From housemasters to chaplains, to cleaning staff to porters, I found each person at Wellington in their own unique walk of life, had something I could learn from that I could not learn anywhere else – something truly humbling and extraordinary which over time shaped me as a person. They taught me more about life than anything else – the things that really mattered.
Then there were moments that gave me an appreciation of the humble things in life, appreciation of spirituality, of God, and of other people. I cannot think of a better learning experience condensed into five years. Remembering where I had come from and who I was, taught me the importance of service and humility.
Being the recipient of a bursary meant that I was granted an opportunity because someone else was generous enough to believe something in me. It inspired me to always seize every moment and make the most of it.
I left Wellington knowing I also wanted to give back to society and decided to pursue this in the field of medicine. Education is a privilege that many people around the world do not have access to and I had been lucky to have one that most could not even dream of having.
It is not something any Wellingtonian should feel burdened or guilty about, but should rather be a source of daily inspiration to do something to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves using what we have been gifted with. I can’t thank the bursary programme enough. The WOW! Scholarship Programme will give young people a chance to experience something unique.