We never become a girl that simply went to Queen’s, because in reality, we are truly 'always Queen’s girls'
There is such a strong sense of pride when I tell someone that I am an alumna of The Queen’s School.
“The one along the historic city walls?”
“Yes, that’s my school” I respond proudly.
The truth is, we rarely refer to Queen’s in the past tense. As the comforting saying goes, “once a Queen’s girl, always a Queen’s girl;” a saying that ultimately defines the alumni support network, and the very methods that ex-queen’s girls use to influence the new.
From Prize Giving to Commemoration, the School was excellent in selecting speakers that encouraged the girls to listen, learn, and most importantly, feel inspired. During my time, I’d heard from musicians to business consultants who were able to illustrate that we can truly take our ambitions in any direction. From GCSE level, the Career’s Department hosted a number of university and careers events, where I recall a number of the alumni providing me with their personal contact details should I need help gaining work experience for successful university applications.
This support extended far beyond simply careers or university. As a gymnast representing Queen’s for the first time at a county-wide competition, former-student Beth Tweddle and I exchanged a number of messages about calming nerves and enjoying the experience. The GB gymnast is among other alumni who continue to thank Queen’s for their sporting roots, and in turn, help or motivate wherever they can.
The girls continue to be inspired by Alumni Lunches: a mentoring programme where ex-Queen’s girls share interests, career paths, and advice on university choices. The relaxed atmosphere helps to maintain a casual and friendly environment where the girls are able to ask as many questions as they please; getting to know the individual beyond their job title.
Even through unofficial channels, I always felt supported at Queen’s. My graduating class sent three girls to the small Fife town of St Andrews. Weeks before our arrival, Class of 2015 student, Sophie, who also headed to the Scottish university a year prior, took us out for coffee to tell us everything she wished she had known: ‘do not buy a fresher’s week-long ticket’, and how to sneak into the Castle late at night. We continue to pay forward the same to any subsequent girls heading to St Andrews. Moreover, while the three of us were rarely in similar circles, we had a unique sense of comfort knowing that we all had each other 7 hours away from home.
The support becomes much more flexible the older you get: Facebook channels and TQN continue to keep alumni close. When I began considering master’s courses, there were a number of Queen’s girls that I reached out to for their advice and support, which included those that read over my personal statement and other application materials.
Ultimately, the Queen’s school alumni network continues to be unique because it extends beyond just help with university applications or the inside scoop of university life. It is a mutual – and perhaps unspoken bond – between all those that continue to embody the values of a Queen’s girl: from career advice to calming sport-related jitters. It’s the fact that we never become a girl that simply went to Queen’s, because in reality, we are truly “always Queen’s girls”.
Deanna Coleman '16