Shrewsbury School

Sixth Form Chapel Interviews - Rosie Parr

Wednesday 8 May 2013

In the third of this term's Chapel Interviews with Sixth Form Leavers, Rosie Parr (EDH) reflects on her two years at the School. During her first year, she won the 2012 National Fives Ladies Under-17 Beginners Championship with her partner, Hannah Pritchard. Earlier this year she won first prize in the national Omnibus Gladstone Competition - the UK's premier essay prize in Classics. She has been given a conditional offer to read Classics at Christ Church College, Oxford.

Rosie Parr May 2012

Where are you from?
I wouldn’t really be able to say where I was from seeing as I’ve moved around so much. My Dad’s job in the Navy has meant he’s been posted all around the UK and Europe, and we had to move with him until my parents decided that my sisters and I should go to boarding school in Somerset instead. When I started I cried every night for a term, but once I stopped being the annoying child who threatened to tell on the dorm if they were talking after 9.00pm, I loved boarding and have ever since.

Why did you choose Shrewsbury?
I chose to leave my last school after I decided a change was definitely necessary. The realisation came after the day I realised I was fat and annoying. The wake-up call I needed was when I had to buy a new school skirt… I guess I just decided I wanted a fresh start, and Shrewsbury was the perfect place. It only had girls in the Sixth Form so all of us would be new and in the same boat, which was just what I wanted.

What are the highlights of your time here?
I’ve had two real highlights of my time here so far. The first was the Fives Nationals last year, which was just such a good week. Fake tan, Travelodges and McDonald’s Monopoly are probably the ultimate combination, and although it sounds a bit clichéd, it was so nice to have all years, boys and girls together as a team. Getting into Oxford was the other highlight, mainly just because I was so relieved that all the hard work in the first term had paid off! I proved to myself that I could get in and now I get to go to the best uni probably in the world for the subject I love.

(pictured right: Rosie with Hannah Pritchard after winning the National Fives Ladies Under-17 Beginners Championship)

Why Classics?
It’s hard to explain why I, or anyone for that matter, would love Classics so much they would decide to spend two weeks of their summer at Greek Camp, but I started loving Classics when I was younger because I just really liked translating Latin. As you’ve probably already gathered, I was a really cool child. As I started learning about all the background and the history, it was hard not to be interested by Emperors making their horses consuls, and murdering their mothers. It’s a subject that for me doesn’t get boring.

Do you have any regrets?
Currently, I’m really regretting agreeing to do this interview as this is the scariest thing I’ve ever done! My biggest regret at Shrewsbury though is probably not what you would expect or what you’ve heard before. Everyone says they regret not making the most of the opportunities Shrewsbury has given them, and doing as much as possible with their time here, but I regret doing too much. I mean I joined Chapel Choir and although some people really enjoy it, it wasn’t for me. It’s great to try everything but I think that sometimes having time to do nothing is just as important.

Given that boys' experience at this school lasts (normally) five years, how has a short two years coloured/affected your own experience? Has it made it more intense? More manic?
Having only two years here definitely made the experience more intense. There’s only a short time to make friends and make your mark. Before I came to Shrewsbury, one of my teachers told me it would be a bad idea to move, because there wasn’t enough time to settle in, get to know your teachers and make a good start on ASs in that first term. I think she was ultimately wrong, but trying to do everything I wanted to do at Shrewsbury in two years has definitely been hard. I don’t think any of the girls will have made such a lasting impression on the School as the boys have. Girls have won all sorts of awards and done great things here, but that’s not the same as growing up with your house and your teachers.

What makes you angry?
When people are horrible to my sisters. I remember in prep school my six-year-old sister was crying because she missed my parents in breakfast and Matron dragged her out of the room telling her they were crocodile tears. I honestly could have punched her.

What makes you laugh?
Stalking Max Mason on Facebook.

Do we find ourselves or invent ourselves?
As Revd Dobbie pointed out when we were considering questions that could be asked, in Latin the word ‘invenire’ means ‘to find’, and it’s also where we get the word ‘invent’ from. I personally think that the two mean the same thing in this context. If you invent a persona for yourself that isn’t the ‘real you’, who is it? People become who they try to be, even if they change again the next week.

If you could have a super power for the day, what would it be and why?!
I would have the power to control people’s minds, I think. It sounds really creepy but you could spend the majority of the day solving world issues, like making Kim Jong Un sign a peace treaty with South Korea or making huge corporations invest in Africa and then the time you have left you could do all the funny stuff.

Do you have one thing to say to those here this morning, what would it be?
Try and do something to make your mark. It could be in football or drama or something academic. You don’t even have to be good at anything necessarily; just try and do something.

Below: Rosie (front right) with the Headmaster and 12 of the other 14 pupils who have gained offers from Oxford and Cambridge universities this year.

Oxbridge offers 2013

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