For those of you who don’t know I have just completed my two residentials with NCS, meaning I am half way through the course. Before I started NCS I was very worried, nervous and concerned. I was even considering dropping out and asking for a refund! But now that I have done the main section of NCS, I really want to go back and review the concerns I did have, in order to help other people.
I wrote a blog post on my concerns before NCS began, you can read it here: NCS Concerns
Now let’s review my concerns and see how far I have come!
The first concern I had was about the people there and not making friends or hating them. Well this is interesting! A lot has happened since I wrote this! I mentioned that I started NCS with 3 friends, well that didn’t go to plan. One of my friends pulled out on the second day of week 1. If you have read my NCS week 2 review you will know that I had some problems with my team. One of the friends I went with ignored me and I had a problem with her. My team didn’t really like me too much, they were not mean. It was more the fact that we were too different, so I was often left out and not included. So I ended up switching teams where I felt more accepted and more importantly where I was happier! During NCS I made one really close friend, who I got really close to during the weeks and we now contact each other regularly over social media. It’s fair to say I lost a bad friend, but gained a good one instead. I now feel a lot more confident about meeting new people, even though I have had a bad experience with friends and socialising.
My second concern was homesickness. This was by far my biggest fear before NCS and it was what made me not want to sign up in the first place! However I completely shocked myself! I was not homesick once! When it came to Friday and it was time to go home, I actually felt a little sad! I was absolutely shocked! I think the reason why I was not homesick was because I was too busy to think about it. I was to focused on what was going on around me to worry about home. Of course I thought of home a little, but it wasn’t too bad and it certainly wasn’t ‘homesickness’. By doing NCS I feel a lot better about moving out and away from home. I said to myself if I can’t spend 5 days away from home at 16, how could I move out to university at 18? I proved to myself that I could do it. Now I feel much more confident about moving to university, than I ever have!
Being unhappy. Hmmm. This is a tricky one. I would be lying to say I was happy all the time while I was there. I cried twice during the 2 weeks: one in public and one in private. I cried during the high ropes as I am terrified of heights and I cried in my room when everyone ignored me and did not include me. So I guess I was a little unhappy at times, yet this was compensated by how much fun I had. Yeah, this is a bit of a mixture. I suppose you can’t be happy all the time, but I did manage to get through it.
I was never properly forced to do any activities. Except the talent show in week 2, where I was practically pushed out of my seat and onto the stage. Apart from that, it was very much a case of “if you really don’t want to then don’t”. My leader told us “It’s our NCS experience, we encourage you to give it a go, but it’s up to you.” So I guess I was never properly forced. I think you have to stand up for yourself a little and say ‘No!’ otherwise you will find yourself doing things that make you unhappy. My advice is give it a go or you may regret it. I tried the high ropes, hated it and then came down straight away. No problem.
When it came to facilities, it was a lot better than I expected it to be. In week 1 we had 4 portable loos and 3 loos with locking doors. I admit the showers and loos were a bit of a long walk from the camp site. It was a solid 10 minute walk across a couple of fields and a small hill, but it wasn’t too bad. I managed to get a shower with a curtain across as I woke up early and showered in the morning to avoid the rush. In week 2 I had an ensuite! It was basically a wet room with a shower and loo.
There we have it, a review on the concerns I had before NCS! I really hope that this may help somebody out there, if it has please leave me a comment or like my post. If you have any concerns or questions about NCS please ask me!