Photo Courtesy: Jesse Clements (USA, Class of ’17)
I decided to be a part of UWC Mahindra College when I was twelve. Coming from a school system that entirely prized academics, I was so enraptured by the idea of improving myself as a person instead of just improving my grades that the idea of any other type of education looked pale and colourless. I decided this was going to be my home for two years because of its ideals, global outlook and diversity. And when one of the main reasons you choose to come to this wackily awesome place is it’s ‘diversity,’ you definitely ask yourself what this diversity that we all talk about really means. Do we measure diversity in nationalities, or countries? Listing the fifty different nationalities that live together must sum up this diversity we talk about, right? Wrong.
Diversity exists in so many subtleties of our life here at UWCMC that it perpetrates itself in ways many of us never realise. Sure we have people of more than 60 different nationalities and that number makes us one of the most ‘diverse’ schools in the world. But this is not where diversity ends. We see diversity in the abundant range of Triveni activities that we do every day. We see diversity in the flora and fauna around us, in the 175 acres of the biodiversity reserve that we live in. We see diversity in realising that it doesn’t matter where the person dancing with you in the rain is from. We see diversity in PNC class when every person has a different idea of the elephant. We see diversity in the realisation that the people living right at the foot of the glorious hill that you call home, have led completely different lives than you.
I have realised that in UWCMC, diversity matters so much and does not matter all, simultaneously. It doesn’t matter when you make enough Mac n’ Cheese at 12 in the night to feed the entire wada (and it does finish faster than you expected). But it does matter when you know about an occurrence in the world because seeing it through the eyes of a person who has actually seen it, makes you understand and feel it so much more than you would have otherwise. Diversity doesn’t matter when we sit together for a college meeting where every opinion is treated equally. But it does matter when you discuss dowry with your Zimbabwean classmate, who has known a completely different meaning of dowry all her life. Diversity most certainly did not matter when my roommates and I chose a multi-coloured welcoming doormat, so that it could be as diversely wonderful as we were. It made me realise that here at UWCMC something beautiful happened when instead of mixing all the colours to make an ugly ochre, we instead chose to swirl them just right and make a beautiful painting.
Of course, UWCMC isn’t everything I thought it would be before I became a first year. It isn’t. It is imperfect. We are challenged at UWC again and again and it can often be ugly and frustrating. Yes, there are moments when it feels difficult for you to understand people and for them to understand you. There are days when you feel homesick, and all you want is the familiarity of your old life with all the people you have known for so long. There are definitely times when you feel miserable for infinite reasons. There are moments when you begin to question if it was worth moving so far away from your family and friends to face all those hurdles, whatever they may be.
But you will soon know why the answer is always yes, a thousand times yes.
And if you are reading this and wondering if it will be alright, trust me it will be more. It will be beautiful.
– Poorva Zope (Class of ’17)
5:06PM on 23rd Nov 2015
Nice blog Poorva. Reading your blog I started thinking how UWC helps making you all global citizen. Dinesh