An experience that pushed boundaries

An experience that pushed boundaries

Eight Victoria University of Wellington students, who participate in the University’s leadership programmes, were recently given a scholarship to attend Outward Bound.

Outward Bound is a non-profit organisation where the outdoors is the classroom and attendees learn about themselves, gain confidence and learn to work as part of a team.

Photo credit: Outward Bound New Zealand, photography by Adam J Sanders

Jaye Barclay, a third year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science student, shares some insights in to the 21-day experience.

My Outward bound experience definitely wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I arrived at Anakiwa thinking I’d be challenged and make new friends, but I never thought I could push myself as far as I did, achieve what I have achieved, and I definitely didn’t expect to leave having made 12 friends for life.

If I had been told that over the 21 days I would climb three mountains, sail and row for several days on end, spend three days alone in the bush, be challenged every day for three weeks and then complete a half marathon at the end of it—all while using this time to reflect on myself, learn and grow as well as making a dozen very good friends—I wouldn’t have believed it. This was mostly because I just didn’t believe I was capable of most of the tasks put in front of me. But each time I was pushed to achieve more and reach my potential.

The saying at the centre of Outward Bound is “Plus est en vous (There is more in you)”, and by the end of the three weeks despite how impossible it seemed, I came to realise how true this was. I would honestly recommend this course to anyone, if not for the opportunity to test your physical limits, then for the reflection and the friends you make along the way. We started off as 13 strangers from very different backgrounds, places, and walks of life. But through the experiences we shared—the early mornings, dunks in the ocean, capsized kayaks, mountaintop sunsets, seasickness and crazy bouts of singing Bohemian Rhapsody when times were good (or bad)—we came out with a bond unlike any I’ve ever experienced.

Photo credit: Outward Bound New Zealand, photography by Adam J Sanders

I know that completing this course has changed the way that I see myself, and now my drive and determination to achieve my goals are stronger than ever! Outward Bound has also helped me understand that I can be in control of my life. I can be the person I want to be, and there’s always an opportunity to change, grow, and live a healthier life regardless of individual circumstances. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned and applying it to the rest of my life, and I look forward to keeping in touch with Hillary Watch 645.

Thanks so much to Victoria University of Wellington for providing me with the opportunity to apply for this scholarship through my work on the Victoria Plus Programme, and thanks to the Outward Bound Foundation for providing these scholarships.

This was an experience I never would have had without the generosity and support of others, and it’s certainly one that I will never forget!

Jaye Barclay is a third year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science student.

Students who are involved in the Victoria Plus Programme or Victoria International Leadership Programme are eligible to apply for an Outward Bound scholarship.

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