Case Study Samiyah

My Experience of NCS – summer NCS

My name is Samiyha Naqvi and I used to attend Judgemeadow Community College and I currently study at Leicester Grammar School.

When I first heard about NCS I felt that it wasn’t going to be something that I would like, so I didn’t sign up straight away.  Some of my friends did and during and after their NCS experience they told me all about what they were doing and that I’d actually really enjoy it and it was an experience that I shouldn’t miss, so I decided to sign up for the following Summer.

I was very nervous before starting NCS, even though I knew two of my friends were doing it on the same wave as me. Both my parents had not heard of NCS before I had told them about it and they felt that as long as I would have a good time, I should go.

strong>There were some induction events at Hollywood Bowl, which made me feel more comfortable with the idea of setting off for an adventure week with complete strangers.  Before bowling, we played some games in order to get out of our shells and socialise a bit, this was great because I got to meet some people who would be on my wave and I could tell that they were a little bit anxious too. Once we were bowling, conversations were easily made and a Mentor on our wave made sure that we all talked to someone that we hadn’t spoken to before.  This event did calm my nerves down slightly and made me quite excited about what would happen during NCS.

My best memory has to be the whole of the first week, so it's not really one memory, more like a collection of best memories. The first week just put all my nerves to rest and reassured me that saying yes to NCS was probably the best decision that I had made.  We took part in a range of activities from archery to rock climbing to raft building and all of them made me jump out of my comfort zone and surprisingly, I really did enjoy myself. The day we built our raft is a day that I will never forget, not only did I “fall” into the lake and get soaked, but we also had our talent show. We had not really prepared that well for the talent show and I had to speak first, which was definitely not good for someone made of social awkwardness.  I have a recording of it and every time I watch it, I end up laughing because the performance was made of spoken word, out-of-tune singing, and a dancing solo, does that not sound like a winning combination? Unfortunately we didn’t win, but we had such a great time and it increased my confidence levels.

In the late afternoons and evenings we did small challenges, which once ended up with some of our teammates getting lost.  Once they had been found and returned we all just laughed about it due to them having a map and still managing to disappear.  That whole week made my team into my second family and all the activities had built our team into a strong, always chanting, team.  I mean, we would always shout our team chant to the point that at the start of the second week, we all had nearly lost our voice, with our team Mentor having completely lost her voice.

The second week was amazing as well, giving us all an insight into how university life would be. On the first day we had a Come Dine With Me challenge, which consisted of me waving a small towel at the smoke detector because we had burnt our food and didn’t want to evacuate half way through the challenge. My ‘roomies’ and I are obviously chefs, our cookbook will be readily available, with pictures illustrating the correct way to fan the smoke away from the detectors(!). We spent the daytimes in the lecture rooms of De Montfort University and had a business challenge day when we met senior staff from Pepsico, who were really inspirational and workshops to help us plan ahead for the Social Action weeks. In the evenings we were given some down time and we mostly spent them socializing, watching films, playing basketball and getting to know one another. NCS gave me the chance to meet new people and to talk with someone we might not have talked to normally.  The first two weeks were with the whole wave and I had nearly talked to all the 217 people, so when the week ended, I felt a bit sad that faces we saw everyday, we wouldn’t see as often.

For the final 2 weeks we choose a wonderful charity called Vista Blind and already had fundraising ideas popping into our heads by the end of Uni week.  The Social Action weeks were a bit more stressful, but my team, team 14, merged with team 13 and we planned two fundraising events, a fun-day and a party.  We had handed out roles and I was in charge of the money use, trying to spend as little as possible because we wanted to raise as much money as possible. These weeks allowed the charitable side of every single individual to shine and both of our events made a good amount of money, with the party raising well over £1,000.  My team also raised money in other ways, with some people doing sponsored events and others baking for the cake sales. Our last couple of days were spent at Tesco, not shopping, but bag-packing in our PJ’s, (mine being batman ones), and we had raised a considerable amount just from that. As the hours ticked away on the last day we tried to keep composure, but once it came to the final farewells the emotions were running high between our team members as we stood amongst the unaware shoppers. It was an amazing experience, one that I wish I could do all over again and one that I would not change.

Even after NCS had ended, I have been sent emails regarding rewards and opportunities available exclusively to Graduates with many links and information to help you now and in the future. This is really helpful as it shows so many different ways to get involved with life changing activities. The main way that NCS has helped me since Graduation night is by allowing me to become a NCS Graduate Ambassador. As an Ambassador for NCS I am able to learn how to balance promoting NCS and college life and I have many opportunities to make a helpful difference in the way NCS is promoted. Not only do I get to spread the word of NCS and help, but they have helped me by giving me more chances to have a positive future. I say this due to being given a guaranteed interview as a Mentor on NCS, once I turn 19, which is amazing. I am very grateful for how NCS has added to my character and broadened my range of opportunities and I know that, without a doubt, every person who is 16/17 should not miss this once in a lifetime experience.

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Case Study Samiyah

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