As the latest academic year draws to a close, pupils – and staff – share their secrets on successfully settling in their new surroundings. Here, Charlotte – a year seven student from The Duke of York’s Royal Military School – tells us how she has been getting on…

Charlotte, a year seven pupil at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School

How have you found your first year at the school?
I’ve really enjoyed it! I’ve been introduced to lots of new things and learned so much – not just academically, but also pastorally. Plus, there have been loads of opportunities thrown my way that I never would have expected I’d enjoy.

What have you enjoyed the most?
Probably meeting so many new people from different places, with different stories to tell and different talents and interests to bring to the table. It’s definitely introduced me to a wider world of things, and I’ve made loads of loyal Dukie friends, too.

What new skills or hobbies have you picked up?
Thanks to the Sports training commitments we have after lessons on Thursdays and Fridays, I have had the opportunity to practise and hone my skills in sports that never really stood out to me before. I now have the courage to play my role as Goalie in Hockey, and am very comfortable in the position of Wing Defence in Netball. I have also attended a Photography Club where I have learned the fundamentals of Photoshop: now occasionally when I have some free time I like to sit down with some music and create odd merges of photos from the Internet!

What did you find was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has probably been living in a dorm with a lot of other girls with different interests and personalities. We’re all different, and coping with those differences has been hard at times – but it has also opened my mind to other people’s opinions, and made me more of an understanding person. You just have to be willing to listen to what people have to say! I think that the ups and downs of boarding life help you to move forwards and grow as a person, so the challenges that it brings are definitely worth it!

What advice would you give to someone starting at the school in the next academic year?
Try to be open minded! Always try to think of things from different angles to better understand and respect your peers. Being with everyone 24/7 actually gives you a lot of opportunities to form really close friendships you may not have been able to achieve anywhere else. There are countless amazing opportunities here open to you. My advice is go for anything that appeals to you- you never know, you might find you’re really good at something you never really thought about before. Take every chance thrown your way, and I promise you won’t regret a single one.

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