As a young girl, my parents gave me a choice: the local grammar school, or boarding a hundred miles away at RMS.
For me, there was no contest: the excitement of being away from home, the grandeur of the grounds and buildings, the unique traditions - these were all too enticing. What I didn't appreciate then was that this environment also gave me the opportunity to be part of a community that worked and grew together. The "all girls" schooling gave me the confidence to pursue science and maths without stigma, to strive to be better, to develop a variety of skills like debating, acting, singing, running; in essence, it shaped the person I am today.
15 years on, and I'm still in touch with the girls I met and shared a dorm with aged 11. We lead different lives, but our shared experiences give us a closeness that continues to last.