NCS grad Laura Church reveals how an active social life on NCS has helped boost her confidence and land her a job.
Laura, aged 17, completed the NCS programme in 2015. Here is her story:
So GCSEs are a lot of work right? Managing over ten subjects with the pressure of your parents and teachers to get the best grades you can, and even pressure from your peers to keep up your social life. Seems impossible, right? Wrong.
I took 11 GCSEs during 2014-2015 and yes it was hard, but I am still standing. Managing GCSEs was a drastic change from year nine for me. I became a lot less confident both in and out of lessons due to the sheer workload.
My social life rapidly declined when the homework started, but a few months in I had had enough. I said to myself ‘enjoy life’ and that’s what I started to do.
When homework was set I’d do it straight away, no questions asked, then I could go out and have a laugh. You only live once! I wanted to remember my teenage years as fun and not hard work; I mean that’s ahead of us the rest of our lives isn’t it?
To further manage my hobbies I joined various clubs including a fantastic choir, which fulfilled my love of music a few hours a week so that I could then work happy. Joining these clubs also escalated my confidence again and even helped with learning time management.
After her GCSE exams Laura took part in NCS. Did it help achieve balance in her life?
I can hands up say NCS was the best four weeks of my life. At first I found the experience unnerving and didn’t want my mum to leave me on the first day with a group of strangers.
Within an hour I had decided I loved my roommates and couldn’t have wished for anything better.
NCS taught me so many things which I could never repay. I learnt a lot which cannot be taught at school, where the focus is all on academia. It’s a very different environment so I learnt how to be more confident, how to cook, first aid, how to manage studies and interview techniques.
I even secured a job, with an interview taking place during NCS. I would never have known what to do beforehand but NCS had built my confidence, so I could talk to people in a situation where they are strangers, and I’m competing against others.
Find out how NCS Autumn is a chance for young people to strike a healthy life balance and develop the skills employers are looking for – confidence, leadership and communication.