One word to sum up life in Delaware? Fun.
As the largest boys’ house at Aiglon, there’s always something going on, and it’s usually quite noisy! But the atmosphere is always really friendly, mostly because the ‘D-Boys’, as we’re known, are such a tight group of friends. We’ve bonded on expeditions and sports courts – from sleeping in hay barns to climbing mountains together to beating other houses on the athletics track.
We also like to spread the love. One of the highlights of the Delaware year is leading the Valentine’s Day candygram run. I was in charge this year, helping to hand-deliver messages, tokens of friendship and jokes – and of course plenty of sweets. Students don’t know who the sender is, but they can have a good guess – once I’ve made sure the messages stay on the right side of appropriate, of course!
It’s a really active house; wild at times, but always in a positive way. As captain, part of my job is to represent everyone here, speaking up for Delaware when we want to get across our point of view or we need to fight our corner. I’ve been here six years now, so I have a great sense of what we’re about and knowing what to say when I’m called on.
When I first arrived here at age 11, I was a little nervous, with all the usual homesickness. Once I got to know people in the house, however, that all disappeared, and I just remember having the best time. My fellow students helped, but a lot of it was also down to our Houseparents, who set the tone of the house. Mr and Mrs Haynes really care about us – they’ve been in charge of Delaware since I arrived and they are like our guardians. They’ll check up on us, make sure we’re feeling all right. I feel I can talk to them about anything, and although they’re the ones setting the rules, Delaware feels relaxed; they trust us. They’re also the first people we see when we get up in the morning. Some houses have a roll call every morning, but we can just come down and check in over breakfast. That means at least an extra 30 minutes lie-in – and that, believe me, is precious!
That said, we have pretty full school days from 7am until 6pm, and then a couple of hours of prep in the evenings. It’s then that you hang out with the people in your house, buy cookies from the tuck shop, play sport together. Every Friday for the past few months, Delaware’s Year 13s have got together to cook our own food. We have our own rooms and we don’t wear uniform, so it does feel different.
Your house dictates your school career – it flavours your whole Aiglon experience. When you enter the school, you inherit a type of house personality, and I’m going to really miss my housemates when I leave. I’ve made so many deep friendships here, it will feel really strange without everybody – they are my family.
Interview Helena Pozniak
Photography Joe McGorty