Been There, Slayed That: Sophie
Written by Sophie (she/they), who did a ‘Live It’ away from home experience in Oxford.
3 min read
Five days. Four nights. Six little questions. Been There, Slayed That is a weekly series where people give the lowdown on their NCS away from home experience. This week we’re hearing from Sophie! #MyNCS23
1. Why did you decide to go on an away from home experience?
I wanted something fun and new to do over the summer holidays. I have struggled with anxiety in the past, and wanted to try out some new things and make new friends. I also wanted to feel more confident in myself and see what I was made of!
2. What did you most enjoy?
I really enjoyed team activities, like laser tag and self-defence. The instructors and team leaders were so nice, and didn't push you to do anything that you didn't want to do. It was also a really supportive environment, so it didn't matter if you did something wrong — you would just laugh about it and move on. Everyone in my team worked together really well, from cheering each other on during competitions to helping each other if times got tough. It was awesome.
3. What did you find challenging?
When I first arrived at my travel hub, I was really nervous! I was anxious about talking to the other young people. However, I spoke to the team leader, and from there was able to speak to new people and make some new friends before I even got on the coach. After that, I definitely felt more comfortable and excited for the journey.
I was also pretty worried about the sleeping situation, but after meeting my roommates we instantly became friends. I had such a great time in the evenings, chatting about our day and talking about our lives and what we usually got up to. My away from home experience was during my exam results week, and everyone was so nice. It felt like I had my own army of cheerleaders who could offer advice and support.
4. If you could do it all again, what's one thing you'd do differently?
I think if I did it all again, I would tell myself to breathe before the experience! I was really nervous, but after I got to know one person I was able to talk to so many other people, and make so many new friends! At the end of the five days, I was sad to be going home because of the amazing memories and fun times I had.
5. What memory from NCS will stay with you for life?
I will always remember the epic campfire on day two! I loved playing all the games and getting stuck in to help my team try and win the competition. Even though we didn't win, we had a great time working together and having a laugh. We also had a great time dancing to the music (great song choices) and singing together — it felt like we were a big family!
6. If you had to sum up your NCS experience in three words, what would they be?
Fun, crazy, exciting.
Any final thoughts?
I really recommend doing an NCS experience. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I had such an amazing time and made so many new friends. The memories will stick with me forever — the random quotes from people, the photos, and the heated card games in the evenings. My advice would be just go for it!