Petra Butcher was disappointed to leave Waiouru Army Camp when she fractured her ankle during the first few days of an induction course.
"I will just have to go back next year," said the Year 11 student.
"I was really enjoying it until I got injured."
One of 12 new students attending Whanganui City College Military Services Academy this year, Petra says she enjoys the fitness regime, the camaraderie and the opportunities for future prospects that the academy provides.
The academy students were at Waiouru with students from 12 other school military academies as their introduction to the ethos and values of military life.
WCC Academy director Thomas (Blue) Davies said the induction course is designed to set the foundation for the remainder of the year.
"It promotes and fosters teamwork and prepares the students for the education and personal development they will build on," he said.
"The course is also designed to take students completely out of their comfort zones and to provide skills that they have never had before."
Living in four bedrooms, the participants had to work with students from the other school academies and learn about living together in barracks.
"They were taught how to live together; health and hygiene, teamwork, fire drills and army drill," Mr Davies said.
Students were involved in physical training consisting of cross-country running, fitness level testing, aerobic fitness, circuit training and the confidence course.
Normal work days for the students began with reveille at 5.30am, followed by breakfast at 6am with all fatigues (housework) completed by 7.30am, when they prepared for inspection before beginning their daily routine at 8am.
Mr Davies said a typical day would consist of lectures, a team-building exercise, leadership training, drill, lunch, physical training, more drill, dinner, fatigues and lights out about 10pm.
The induction training culminated in 200 students from all 13 academies performing a march-out parade in front of friends and family.
"The Whanganui City College students did themselves, their school and most of all their families proud," Mr Davies said.
WCC Military Services Academy students Bronson Grey and Brendon Edwardson (both Year 11) said they were proud to march out with the other inductees and enjoyed the challenges.
"It was a really good challenge with heaps of teamwork," said Bronson, who is considering a military career.
For Brendon, who is already pretty set on an army career, it was a hands-on experience of how the army works.