When I first started out in Welham in the year 2015, I was a naive 12-year-old girl. To suddenly leave my parents, my house and to shift and acclimatize to a totally different environment seemed almost impossible. I was by nature, a shy and timid girl. To be surrounded by strangers, 24/7 was not an easy task. The only sense of comfort was to realise I was not alone. Seventy other little girls, who had absolutely no idea as to what they were doing, were right beside me.
Slowly I started to break out of my shell. I attempted things which I never had done before. I started climbing up the ladder of my personal growth. My teachers acknowledged my strong points and also my weak points. They opened up opportunities to boost up my social and personal development. Staying next to my friends and teachers thorough out my teenage years made them feel like family. The people who felt like strangers, I now recognise as family. The faculty at Welham made me realise my worth. They inspired me every day. They taught me how to be confident but did not ignore my wrongdoings.
My teachers have helped me mould my character and have always emphasized on the morals of honesty. Every time I cribbed or whined about doing my own work in school, I became responsible and independent. Every time I got scolded in school, I learnt to accept criticism. Every time I was punished for turning up late for a class or an event, I learnt to respect and value time. My teachers made me realise that excellent academic scores were not everything. They taught me integrity. They helped me evolve into an empathetic and humane person. They taught me the value of commitment. Over the years, I have come to realise that I am no more than a shy girl.
Welham and my teachers have helped me evolve into a young confident girl. I have come to realise my privileges and learnt to make the most out of every opportunity. I think after the help and encouragement I have received over the years, I am ready to face the world by myself. Though there is no age when a person stops learning from mistakes and experiences, I think I am ready to see for myself as to where I stand in society. I have learnt to acknowledge my personal power. I see myself trying to contribute and give back to society more than I have received from it. I have not only learnt to trust myself and my intuition but also learnt to accept criticism, whether it be positive or negative.
Staying away from home for the last 5 years, I have realised that sometimes to achieve something, we have to walk out of our comfort zone and tread on an unknown path. Not always would every path guarantee me success but will surely contribute to my experiences which will prepare me to face the world.
- Laavanyaa Joshi, Intern for Learning Forward India at the John Martyn Memorial School, she is currently studying at Welham Girls' School Dehradun, India <firstname.lastname@example.org>