Catholic values from my Catholic School

Preparing for university is proving to be an extremely exciting time. My A-level study stretched me to the limits of my capabilities, learning as much about Nuclear Physics as I did about the importance of discipline, focus and endurance. It's now very easy, only a few months on, to dismiss the mammoth challenge they presented thinking 'they weren't really that difficult'. Then the consecutive string of all night revision sessions and seeing the library staff more than I did my brothers and sisters springs delightfully back to memory. I am now pleased to have successfully completed them (more, importantly dispelled them from my life for good) and looking forward to commencing undergraduate study in Politics and Sociology at The University of Bristol.

I can truly feel the transition into young adulthood, being constantly reminded of the multiple tasks I am encouraged to complete independently. From completing application forms for accommodation and financial support to buying bedding sets and crockery. Having also spent the summer working part-time at the Stratford Westfield shopping centre and on the Olympic park, my exposure to responsibility has been considerably heightened. This has all set the context in preparing for 'real' adulthood and building my character for the future that lies ahead.

However, my most distinct period of personal development lies in the 7 years I spent at Our Lady's Convent High School in Hackney. An area amazingly rich in diversity coupled with a variety of socio-economic difficulties provided a very interesting setting for secondary education. Founded on the values of the Servite order, the importance of service is treasured as an essential Catholic teaching. We learnt through practical action, organising trips to local residential homes at Christmas to deliver decorated hampers, becoming involved in social campaigns and being constantly encouraged to be active stewards within our community. During my time at Our Lady's, it became apparent how we show our faith and love for God through the relationships we keep with our neighbours and the efforts we make to improve our universal community. A verse I am sure to never to forget comes from the book of James which makes the point that faith without works is dead. I was among a delegation from my school to be invited to a conference hosted by Harvard University, for our participation in a variety of campaigns pioneered by Citizens UK to present this very message.

Serving my school community as Head Girl was the culmination of years of extra-curricular involvement within the school. I felt exceedingly privileged to be able to represent the student body and lead the school council working towards the school's ongoing development towards improved excellence. All my experiences during these crucially formative years are surely guaranteed to place me in good stead at university and in my further endeavours. I now look upon my younger sister with gleaming eyes as she begins her journey at Our Lady's in year 7, seeing in her what I hope most saw in me. A bright young lady that's full of potential, with a future of endless possibilities.

Inez Sarkodee-Adoo completed her studies at Our Lady’s Convent High School, Hackney this summer and now is in her first term at the University of Bristol.