The amazing time which I had at Downside will forever live in my heart. Those moments, probably more than any other, shape the way I think and the person I am.
I tried many things in my time at Downside, some of which I was good at, and others probably less so. But what I have stood by for a while now is that, it’s not about whether you fail or lose, it is about how you lose and how you get up again to do better.
My experiences and memories from Downside have undoubtedly changed the way I look at many factors of my life, not only academically, but also personally and in my social life, and the values learnt have shaped me to be something more than just another individual in the world of 7.8bn others.
During my time at Downside, which is a school where the inclusiveness of community, Benedictine values, and the pursuit of academic excellence are rooted in the core, I was very often struck by the kindness of people, and by their openness to diversity and difference.
Downside taught me – through successes and failures – how to be an individual responsible for my own fate, and how important it is to never give up. My boarding House taught me how to have a family outside of my family, how important it is to give, to stay humble, and how to make sure you have a dream to aim for, because dreams will be dreams – until you actually step up to make them happen.
I am currently reading Economics at Glasgow University and have my favourite Downside memorabilia displayed in my room: a Bible with a leather cover made by one of the St. Scholastica leaders, the Roberts House water bottle, a pair of our House cufflinks, a Roberts House Colours Cap, and the self-crafted Downside Ball Game bat with a Roberts House crest. I’m quite fond of my collection but, more importantly, it reminds me of the great experiences, lessons (literally and not) as well as challenges that I have been through at the place that I still want to think of as my home.
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