We’ve recently formed a partnership with Outward Bound which gives students on the Victoria Plus Programme an opportunity to complete the 21 day course at a heavily reduced price. Eight Victoria University students recently took advantage of this awesome scholarship. Here’s what Laura Parker who’s studying towards a BCom had to say about the experience:

13 nervous yet excited young adults board a Picton water taxi as complete strangers, with a swarm of butterflies setting up camp in their stomachs. 13 strangers approach Anakiwa with eyes open, admiring the picturesque nature they’re ever so privileged to see. 13 people begin a journey of a lifetime to find themselves in the wild of the Marlborough Sounds.

Outward Bound was a crazy experience, an opportunity to start afresh, reset life and find where your true values lie – they call this your ‘true north’. The ultimate inspiration through the whole experience was finding out that I could do anything I put my mind to, I could do everything in the course even when I thought I couldn’t, I could do it all and I just needed to push myself. I began Outward Bound struggling to run 1km without stopping and left after just three weeks having run a half marathon. Truth be told, Outward Bound does more than push your body, it pushes your mind and that is where the true exercise begins.

There were laughs, tears, stories, and fears. We pushed through every barrier and then some – because there is always more in you. We rowed for hours around the Marlborough Sounds because when do you ever get another opportunity to dip a paddle into bioluminescence under the bright milky way? We walked for 18 hours up a mountain, fought through bush lawyer and climbed over fallen trees all whilst carrying a 15kg backpack – but still smiling because the sunrises and sunsets were golden! Where else could you sleep under silver ferns, right next to a freshwater stream and be completely content sleeping alone, outside, in the middle of no man’s land? When do you get a chance to kayak down rapids in crystal clear water? When do you get an opportunity to sail in the sunshine towards a pest-free island? It all feels like a dream now, a really good dream.

We learned that sometimes fun is blindingly obvious (type-1 fun), and sometimes it’s invisible (type-2 fun). Type-1 fun are those moments when you’re sharing hilarious life stories to a bunch of friends and everything is tiptop; Type-2 fun, the most rewarding, are those experiences that scare you most. Those moments where you just want to quit, but you don’t. You don’t quit at Outward Bound because you want to experience the freedom of climbing to the top of a mountain cliff just to turn and absorb the glorious natural beauty of our country. You’d never know how beautiful New Zealand was if you never pushed yourself, and I would never know how much I’m capable of if I never went to Outward Bound.

Outward Bound was a massive eye-opening experience for me – if I can walk up a mountain for 18 hours straight, sleep for 4 hours then run a half marathon, I can do anything.

A massive shout out to Outward Bound for the scholarship.

If you are a current student doing VicPlus and would like the chance to do Outward Bound, email victoriaplus@vuw.ac.nz to express your interest.

*Thanks to Outward Bound New Zealand and Adam J Sanders for the cover photo 

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Leadership, Motivation, Personal development, Reflection, Skills development, Volunteer experience

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