I was born in Poland and I was around one year old when my family moved to Stoke-on-Trent in England. My parents were looking for work.
I suppose I was a very quiet, bookish only child. I really liked computers from an early age and I was quickly drawn to maths. I enjoyed numbers and problem-solving. I loved reading magazines about space and books on astronomy. I had academic aspirations but a private education was never really considered when I was young. It didn’t seem possible.
My decision to apply to Eton’s sixth form – for the Orwell Award – was entirely spontaneous. It only happened because a friend had heard about it and he told me he was applying. Listening to him talk about the opportunities I decided to give it a go.
I was only vaguely aware of what the School was. I applied without a real sense of what I was getting into. But this was also during the pandemic and so quite a lot about that time didn’t feel very real. But I definitely got a sense of how special Eton was. I looked at all the pictures online and the place seemed very strange and exciting. I really wanted to see what it was like.
It’s such a beautiful place – my favourite part of the College is the Chapel. The most difficult thing was coming into a House where the boys in your year have already lived together for several years. They’ve already bonded. So, I was surprised by how welcoming they all were.
Being at Eton has really boosted my confidence. I feel emboldened to try new things now in a way I never would have done before.
In my first Half I did too much of everything. I did kickboxing – which I’d never attempted before – and I was quite committed to that for a while. I tried rowing very briefly but the other boys told me they’d never seen anybody so bad at it before! It was quite funny. I went along to a few science societies too. The societies have some amazing evening speakers – the leading academics in their fields. We once had the first person to have cloned an animal come to speak to us – that was a really interesting talk.
For A Levels, I’m studying double maths, physics and music. I’ve always loved music and the support I’ve had for that passion has definitely been the best part of being at Eton. I’ve really enjoyed playing in concerts, and now I’m an honorary Music Scholar. I started playing electric guitar in Year 3 because I was really into rock music. I took up the piano in Year 7 and started getting more into classical music so I also took up the classical guitar. During B Block I started having lessons on the lute and became involved with the English Lute Society. I formed a duet with a boy in my House and we’ve performed in various song recitals together.
It’s hard to articulate but there’s definitely a link between my passion for maths and music. In maths you need to come up with solutions to problems you don’t know how to approach and in music you’re also searching and solving.
Being at Eton has really boosted my confidence. I feel emboldened to try new things now in a way I never would have done before. After my A Levels I’m hoping to read maths at Cambridge. I’m very interested in cryptography and I was involved in the National Science Challenge for which they released a cipher each week and you had to crack the code.
I might be quite happy to spend the rest of my life in academia. But I’m also curious to see where the cryptography might lead me. Perhaps into data analysis or the intelligence services.