An Interview with One of ORA’s Wonderful Counsellors
This week, we’re giving you an insight into the people who make a very significant contribution to the summer school: our brilliant counsellors.
Alice, from the Jowett Walk campus, was kind enough to give me some of her time.
Alice explained that as a sporty type, one of her favourite things about being a counsellor is getting to play games with the students. Even better, the games start as soon as the session does: “At the start of session 2, when all the students had only just arrived and no one knew each other, myself and three other counsellors got a tag rugby game going, and soon there were 30 or more students involved. I love the trips too, obviously, but what’s particularly fun is getting to experience the student side of things.” It definitely seems like Jowett Walk is a sporty campus this session – alongside tag rugby, there’s also been baseball and table tennis.
Alice’s favourite event so far was the trip to Blenheim Palace. “I’ve been a counsellor before and it’s always my favourite trip: it’s got such beautiful grounds and the palace itself is amazing – there’s so much history. Our tour guide had the whole group completely silent, listening; they were so fascinated.”
Not having known before the interview that Alice had been a counsellor before, I asked her why she’d decided to come back this year. “Why not? It’s such a lovely atmosphere to be working in, not just with the students but with the other counsellors, the JDs and all the way up the organisation: everyone’s so friendly. Last year I didn’t know anyone but I made so many friends I’ve kept in touch with and I’m sure this year will be the same.”
I also was curious to know what Alice had learned from her experience as a counsellor. “It’s made me more compassionate,” she said, and then explained: “The 13-15 year olds are a very varied age group and I’ve gained a lot of insight into working with young people of that age. Talking to the students is so interesting – for instance when we get talking at meal time, and I ask about where they’re from, they’re got so much to say about so many countries that I’ve never visited.”
Finally, I asked Alice to describe being a counsellor at ORA in three words: “Insightful, stretching and fun.”
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