Maintaining a positive outlook has paid off for SRC Bede Sixth Form student Lewis.
The 17-year-old from Norton is among the lucky few to receive a conditional offer from Oxford University.
Now knowing that there’s plenty of hard work ahead doesn’t seem to have phased him. In fact the offer has made him all the more determined to succeed.
“The offer is a massive motivation,” he said. “It is such a great opportunity, I have to go.”
One of the most prestigious universities in the world, Lewis said he couldn’t believe it when he received that all-important letter from Oxford University.
He said: “I had to read it four or five times before I believed what it said.”
Hoping to take up the place to study Material Science, the former North Shore Academy student has already had his first taste of Oxford life having taken part in a summer school last year.
He explained: “When I was there I really enjoyed it. Everyone seemed really nice, so I thought I would apply on the off chance.”
Describing himself as lucky to be “naturally bright”, Lewis’s can-do attitude saw him excel at the summer school.
Attending lectures taught by leading international researchers, conducting laboratory work and taking part in team building activities such as rowing and Ultimate Frisbee, gave him an exclusive glimpse into university life. It also helped to inspire and prepare him for the task ahead.
“Each day we would get up and everyone goes for breakfast in these grand dining halls, then you will have lectures as well as revision and study to do in your own time,” he said.
“It does involve quite a lot of studying but you also get the chance to relax and have a laugh.”
One of the world’s oldest universities, Lewis described having the chance to study at Oxford as “quite surreal”, but he is keen to take up his place.
He said: “I have never been the type of person to see things as a problem. I know that some things take hard work but if you are willing to put the effort in you can achieve.
“I applied for my place at summer school and I got in. That led me to apply for a place and now I have an offer.
“It does add a little bit of pressure as everyone is so excited for me, their reaction makes me realise how big an opportunity this is.”
Currently studying A level Chemistry, Physics and Maths at SRC Bede, Lewis said he has enjoyed his time at the sixth form in Billingham.
He said: “I have been given all the support that I could possibly ask for.”
It has certainly taken him further than he ever imagined.