NCS: Six Months On…

Okay, so, first of all, I apologise for the lack of posts on here, I had this whole National Citizens Service (NCS) over the summer and A levels had kept me way too busy and I guess I just forgot about this. However, because of the half term I have managed to get a bit of a break, and recently I have seen people from NCS coming into schools to try and get people to join up to this programme, and so I thought this would be a nice opportunity to reflect on the impact this programme has had and why I would recommend it to other people. 

For those of you who have not heard of NCS before, it is a week/four week long (depending on whether you go in the Easter holidays or, as I did, in the summer holidays) which has three phases: 

  1. Challenge Phase, which involves a residential trip to a local centre with various challenges such as raft building, rock climbing, orienteering etc. 
  2. Life Skills Phase, another residential trip to a different location in which you learn about various things which may become handy later in life, such as first aid and how to budget effectively
  3. Volunteering Phase, where you spend a couple of weeks planning, fundraising, and carrying out an activity to support a local charity.

Whilst this is the basic structure that I personally went through, the experience could change based on when you take part and the provider you go with.

Before I took part on NCS, I never thought it would have such a big impact on my life. Yes, the activities I took part in and the skills I have learned have given me a great boost in self confidence, yet I was surprised at what had really made the largest impact throughout the programme. It was the people that really made the experience worthwhile, and never in my life had I met such genuine, upbeat, optimistic, dedicated, hard working people who I felt like I could relate to. For the first time I felt welcomed, accepted, I felt like it was okay just to be myself, and even if we don’t keep in touch forever, I will always consider them my friends.

When you sign up to these things, you might think “oh hey, there might be some cute people going too”, and I felt like that too, but not for one second did I think I would meet the love of my life. Yet I did, and we’re still going strong over five months after making it official. I admit that this will not be the case for everyone, and I am fully aware of how lucky I am, but even if you have a little bit of interest in this programme, I can guarantee that you’ll meet people like you, and when you do, it will be the best feeling in the world. 

NCS has increased my self-confidence and opened up many opportunities. This is an experience which is more than just something to add to a CV or a University application, and this is why I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

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