Recent leaver and Second Monitor (deputy head pupil), Alex, talks about her time at Christ’s Hospital.
I first heard about Christ’s Hospital in Year 5. When I visited the School, I felt a bit overawed and didn’t want to go. When the entrance exams came around, I noticed everyone was smiling, which made me think boarding schools couldn’t be that bad! I started to picture myself wearing the uniform and then when I stepped inside Bluecoat Sports Centre, I was sold!
My parents went to boarding school in Nigeria and my mum was a housemistress too, so encouraged me to follow in their footsteps. But it’s always a difficult decision, as it means uprooting your entire life, leaving behind family and friends. The year prior to me coming here had been tough, as my dad passed away. Being away for anniversaries and birthdays was something I struggled with and there were frequent phone calls home, but I could still see my family every three weeks. My housemistress in Leigh Hunt B was very supportive and helped me through the first few months. After seven years at CH, I have no regrets.
Sport has been a big part of my School journey and on Speech Day, I received the Maggie Williams Trophy, awarded to the Grecian who has shown excellence in, and sustained contribution, to Sport. I captained the athletics, football and netball teams in my Grecian year and also represented CH at hockey, cross-country, squash, rounders, tennis and Fives. It’s fun explaining Fives to my old friends in north London, although to be honest I’m not sure I’ve quite got my head around it either!
As Second Monitor, I’ve enjoyed representing CH at special events, alongside Jin (Senior Grecian). I admit, I occasionally felt impostor syndrome. When we met the Prime Minister, I was asking myself, ‘what am I doing here?’ But I learnt a lot by networking with influential or inspirational people. I would like to become a doctor and have spoken to medical professionals who have given me advice, so I’m grateful to have had opportunities to meet people I aspire to be like.
The visiting speakers can inspire you in different ways. Alexandra Wilson (known as The Essex Barrister) was interesting. Although I’m not pursuing a career in law, it was fascinating to hear how she rose from a humble background to reach the top of her profession. It was a journey many pupils could relate to. Like many others, I am a beneficiary of the School’s bursary scheme as a Doyle scholar, awarded to sixth form pupils with an aptitude for science and technology. John ‘Jack’ Doyle has been supportive and keeps in touch over email. He also sponsors my brother in GE (Year 11).
In terms of what I’ll miss about CH, I must choose the obvious: the people. Not just the friends I’ve made but teachers. They look out for you, not only making sure you’re reaching your potential academically, but also in a pastoral sense. I feel I can talk to teachers about anything, and that has made a huge difference.