Monday, January 7, 2013

Back Home Away from Home

     Well, whether you believe it and even if you're still struggling to write 2013 on checks, it is in fact a new year- Happy New Year!
     I kicked off 2013 in Kansas (and had a great holiday with family and friends- miss you guys!) but got to shout out to friends all over the world as they rang in the new year throughout the different time zones- quite the UWC experience :)
     Most of the student body is now back on campus and the last couple of days have been nothing but smiles and hugs as friends greet each other and share anecdotes from the break. I don't think I've ever seen the entire campus so happy all at once, and I know for a fact that I've never seen so many people at breakfast before class. (But I'm fairly certain that the latter trend won't last long as jet lag and New Year's resolutions begin to fade.)
     One of the coolest components of UWC is the mesh of so many different cultures. For 200 students from 84 different countries, you would not believe how well everyone gets along and is able to share their stories and customs with everyone else. I mention this because, after the break, everyone has come back a little more in tune with the customs back home- whether that be M's British accent coming out a little stronger or Z's enthusiasm for her state's basketball team- and it's exciting to remember how diverse and widespread we really are. We talk about how one day the UWC movement and values will reach every corner of the world, but, in a way, I think it already has. I know that I shared my stories and experiences with my family and friends back home and I would bet that a lot of other students did the same. One person at a time we're growing our legacy, and hopefully some positive influence on peace and sustainability, and, whether the world is ready for us, we're coming full force to make our mark.
     And, as we're thinking about how we'll be different in the new year, it's a little scary to realize that we can actually do that, that we have so much ahead of us- the summer, university, careers- and that if we make the right decisions and apply some effort, we can be a driving force in the world. Whoo UWC!
     Lots to think about and look forward to, huh? But I guess for now its just nice to be "home" and reunited with another facet of my "family".

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