Continuing our catch-up with some of the Class of 2016, we spoke with Henry Williams, who has just completed his first year at Bangor University and is currently working at a Camp America base in the United States for the summer:
How has your first year been in university?
First year has been great, I am loving Bangor University. It's nice to be in a place that I was already very familiar with, so I was never nervous to move into the university halls.
A good thing is that I can still see all of my local friends as well as all the new friends I've made through my course, but more so through Rugby.
What are the differences between this and life at Rydal Penrhos?
The campus lifestyle is similar in a sense, however there is obviously a lot more freedom, and the emphasis of nightlife and evening activities, which often involve pubs or the student bar.
What have been your highlights?
Highlights have mainly been Rugby. I have made the First XV as the fly half/ fullback. I also have been elected to be the Club Secretary of the Rugby team and will be heavily involved in next year’s sporting decisions for the club and the Athletic Union.
I also comfortably passed my first year and luckily don't need to re-sit any of my exams! Which is a relief given me being in the USA.
What life lessons have you taken on?
Despite not having gone to the university I wanted, and having to go through clearing, I'm really enjoying my time at Bangor, and I wouldn't change it. It's taught me not to be too down from minor setbacks (my A-level results) and where you go is what you make it.
I've also learnt not to leave assignments until the last minute! A lesson I feel I learnt slightly too late, but still.
How is everything going at Camp America?
Camp America is awesome. I am a counsellor in the oldest boys cabin who are all 15, in a cabin of 10 kids. My days are spent teaching advanced and regular sailing as an instructor as well as lifeguarding and chilling with my campers!
What sort of things are you doing there? Where are you based?
I'm based at a beautiful location of Lake George in upstate New York. The scenery and the lake is awesome. I'm constantly in the water. It's also great to be able to see Sammy Scofield, who came to Rydal Penrhos for his Year 13, as he was one of the main reasons I came here (camp) in the first place.
On the weekends and days off we always travel to cool places together.
How has life at Rydal Penrhos prepared you for further education?
Rydal taught me the Importance of being respectful and how to treat people, which is huge in my job at the moment. Boarding at Rydal Penrhos was the perfect preparation for a University setting, as the whole Halls of residence thing is very similar to boarding life.
I miss the relationships with teachers at Rydal Penrhos, it's not quite the same in university because of the class sizes. Missing the Mather's big time, and I still regularly keep in contact with them.
If I had to pick one thing that Mr and Mrs Mather taught me at Rydal Penrhos, it is the importance of being punctual, as well as accepting the consequences when failing to do so!
What advice would you give to leavers’ this year?
Don't think the world is over on results day if you don't get the results you hope for, like I did.
Do the best you can of course, but your future definitely isn't defined by you’re A-level/International Baccalaureate results.
This probably isn't what your teachers want you to hear but each university is what you make it yourself, just make sure you go and embrace it fully wherever you end up going and I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself, as I am.