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News > Catch Up:Friends > On the Road to Self Discovery

On the Road to Self Discovery

Millie Farquhar left Concord College in 2014.  She wrote this story for the school magazine - its a moving story of self discovery following bullying at a previous school.
I came to Concord in the final term of Form 3 after leaving my last school because of bullying, a custom I had come to expect in British schools. I knew no one, and to be honest, I was scared. I had never been in an international environment before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I felt like an intruder, especially because everyone would have already made their friends and I was almost certain that no one would want to be friends with me. I was damaged goods, a late delivery.

And yet, on my first day, while I was sitting in breakfast trying to pretend that I didn’t exist, the funniest thing happened. A whole group of people came to sit on my table. They all smiled at me, and said “you looked lonely sitting on this table by yourself, so we thought we would join you”. Now while this may not seem very odd to you, it was to me. In my old school you wouldn’t touch a lone student with a barge pole; you would stay away and laugh behind their back about how lonely they looked. And yet, here I was, surrounded with people that I had never met before who all wanted to meet me.

This was my first taste of Concord, and a moment that I will never forget. And of course, over the years, I have had more and more wonderful experiences. I went to Beijing, where I walked through the Forbidden City, had lunch on the Great Wall of China and was mobbed by a group of Chinese tourists that thought I was some sort of celebrity (honestly some of the most fun I have ever had). I have been to Costa Rica, hiked 30km through the rainforest, something I never thought I would do, I have seen Dr. Pugh dance, and almost get struck by lightning as we walked through a tropical storm. And who would forget our little expeditions to Wales? There was Standon Bowers, where five students and myself sat on a handmade raft and laughed as the other team’s raft sank to the bottom of the pool, or chased after Mr Wilson in a canoe, and played a vital role in the water fight that ensued. Or when I ‘deliberately’ capsized my kayak in Bala and got soaked, then dragged Mr Hudson into the water with Abbi and Lizzie so that he would stop laughing about how wet we were.

Other schools would have told me what to wear, how to behave and what to do with my life. But not here, not this little school in the middle of nowhere. Here I can be myself; before I came here I didn’t even know who that was. Concord itself means harmony (not the jet plane as I originally thought), but in my opinion, it doesn’t just mean the harmony between others and us, it is inner harmony as well. It teaches you to be the best you can be, without compromising what makes you… well, you.

The road to self-discovery is never an easy one but it was at Concord that I was able to find myself. And to anyone who knows me, you know that that person is absolutely bonkers. But that is me, the nerdy, sporty, weirdly obsessive me. When I look in the mirror, I know who is looking back. That is the gift that Concord has given to me and even though my story here is ending, I wish you the best in yours. And just before I go, one last bit of advice. If someone gives you a chance, a challenge or a problem to be solved, don’t back off and hide in the corner like I would have done five years ago. Jump in. Because at the end of the day, you never regret the things you did. Your regret will be the things you didn’t.

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