In 1990 I started at boarding school, aged 13. In what turned out to be eighteen months of living hell* interspersed with a life-long friendship or two, I learned the value of reinventing myself.

I remember lying on my hostel bed a few weeks into the first term thinking that I could be anybody I wanted to be. The only problem was that I didn’t know who that was.

Almost 30 years on, I still don’t.

  • I’ll never know what hell is really like, because I don’t smoke the same stuff Dante Alighieri did, but if I had to describe the worst time of my life, boarding school would feature prominently.