Anna, 19, Castlerigg Manor.

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Sometimes, I feel a bit like Lucy Pevensie. I opened the wardrobe and stepped through a door of faith, but unlike Lucy I didn’t get to the other side and see a mythical land of snow and ice, with fauns who invite you for tea and sardines and talking animals. Instead, I found a wonderful meaning to my life and I found out who I was. It had always been a struggle, a daily one in fact, to discover who I was. I blended into the background, I was like Bilbo Baggins and never did anything unexpected. I tried lots of different characters to establish myself; scholarly, witty, rude, insulting and my personal favourite is punk. But whatever I did, I remained the quiet one who would slip by unnoticed and I felt like I had no purpose or place in the world. My faith had always
been there from when I was in my mother’s womb, but it had just been present. I’d gone to church like anyone else and I loved Jesus intently for reasons I don’t think I fully understood, but even so, it was just there, a side fact about me. Then I opened the wardrobe, and found a new world called Lourdes. In this world, I realised that the most important thing was not being noticed and not trying to stand out from the crowd, but being of service to others. I met the most inspiring people and helped the sick and the elderly who if I, and the other young people, hadn’t been there, the week would not have been possible for those we were helping. Through this week, I realised that I had never felt more alive than I had in Lourdes. I prayed that I would never lose that feeling of being alive and never lose the desire to help people.