Monday, October 28, 2013

The Other Reason

     There are a few different answers a UWC student might give you if you ask them "why UWC?". Many of us came here because we are interested in international politics or business, some say UWC gives you a boost for college applications, other wanted to study abroad, etc. But, regardless of why we initially came here, there is one reason we all love UWC so much: the people.
     Living on a closed campus with 250 people can be difficult sometimes. We're still normal human beings, we still have conflicts, and, especially as teenagers, we sometimes get a little hard to handle. But for the most part, I'd bet you could ask anyone on campus and they'll tell you they've made lifelong friends here. Living together 24/7 (or 25/8!) means that we see each other in all of our stages, the good ones- happy, excited, proud- but also the not so good ones- sick, tired, post-workout, sleepy. It means that we know each other very well. When someone looks out of sorts, we notice, and we're there to support that person.
     Recently I've been reflecting on my friendships here. This year started out a little roughly. It was much more difficult than I expected to return to a place so full of memories, but empty of half of the people who had made it so special. Top that with 100 new indiviudals, with two very strong, but dynamically different class personalities, and there were a lot of people, including me, feeling a little lost.
     Swamped with work and big decisions, I've found myself spending much of my time alone, sitting in my room working. It's important, yes, but also exhausting. Luckily, I can honestly say that I am surrounded by incredible friends who have shared both the highs and lows, and with whom I continue to laugh and make memories. I am so grateful to have such a strong class full of classmates who are interesting, talented, caring, fun, and who, together, make up such a great group.
     But there's another group of people who I should also mention and who I've recently come to appreciate a little more. Our first years. Quite honestly, guys, y'all were a handful in the beginning. I mean that in the most loving way, of course. We didn't expect for you to be so self-sufficient and cogent, and I think that threw us off a bit. Also, in case you hadn't noticed, you have some very... "big" characters in your class who initially overshadowed the diversity. But lately I've had the chance to get to know many of you, and I am so glad I have. You guys have a lot to offer, besides being just really great individuals, and I look forward to spending more time talking with you, or playing silly games in the castle, or working together in CAS.

     Oh, really quickly, one more thing from the first years. I guess I knew people were reading my blog, but I figured it was mostly my family and friends, or random strangers who accidentally stumbled across the webpage and didn't really read it. I was apparently wrong. Twice this year, first years approached me and told me they'd been reading my blog before they came to UWC. Turns out they were both surprised to meet me as one thought I'd graduated and the other wasn't completely sure I was a real person (or at least that's what I understood). C and O, you girls made me happy to know I'm actually being read and I'm glad that you're here and that I get to know you.

     Alright, what do you say, enough mushy friend stuff? OK. Basically, I'm just really grateful for the friendships I have- thank you :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013


     Among all the college applications, CASs, IB assignments, and homework, it's been easy, at least for me, to forget the point of UWC. But last night, thanks to a lot of work from a bunch of Europeans, I'm happy to say I was reminded.
     I've explained cultural days before, so you've heard about NAD and CLAD. This time, it was END- European National Day. The evening started off with a lovely dinner, themed "Opera", including Spanish gazpacho, Hungarian goulash, German schnitzel, Polish pierogi, French crepes, and Italian tiramisu. Altogether the food and entertainment were magnificent. Following dinner, everyone moved to the auditorium for the show.
     I have to say, going into the END experience, I was skeptical. Biased, having led NAD, and beside the fact that I am actually European and was part of the show, I wasn't expecting anything too outstanding. But with hearty congratulations, I have to admit that I was very, very wrong. The show was really impressive. With a good mix of humor, depth, and variety, I think everyone left the auditorium feeling both more educated about European culture, as well as reflective. Check out the link below to see the performances (and see if you can spot me in the Language Tree skit and Jumpstyle, the dance with lights).
     Though the party- themed "apres-ski"- was hindered by technical issues, the evening overall was really fun and impressive. It reminded me of the bigger picture: why I'm here, where I want to go, and of all of the incredibly intelligent, talented people with whom I get to share this experience.
     With college application deadlines drawing near, I look forward to having a bit more free time to make the most of my UWC opportunities and return to learning about the world from its citizens.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Second Year Survival Week

Third Semester is supposed to be busy. And everyone knows it. There are college applications, essays, supplements, interviews, SATs, Extended Essay, Internal Assessments, Leadership, and, of course, regular classes. It's very busy, sometimes overwhelming, but, overall, doable. 

This week is called Second Year Survival Week. Last year, as first years, we experienced this time as Southwest Studies- a time for all first years to embark on various trips around the Southwest. In the meantime, the second years stay on campus and "survive" all the work. 

Although it sounds like a lot, I'm personally enjoying this week. It's nice to have some quiet time to get all of my work together and reflect on the future, as well as have some fun with co-years (game nights in the auditorium are... interesting? hilarious? either way a great stress reliever)

I won't write too much, and I apologize for not having posted recently, but there's lots of work to be done. I'll come back soon with something a little more exciting and UWC-y. Until then, happy Survival Week!