Photo Courtesy: Oscar Åkerberg
As I began the upward spiral on the hill towards UWCMC, I remembered the last time I was here, when the trees were a little more yellow and we felt our zeal simmering down after a meteoric year. But now, just like the lush foliage around us, we are back fresh and rejuvenated.
It feels as if we never left as the influx of memories hits us- how it feels to walk on the wet cobblestones without our shoes on, drinking hot chocolate on rainy nights and hearing booming laughter at odd hours. The memories are different for everyone because the possibilities on this hill are endless, endless because life at UWCMC seems to transcend time. A day feels like a week, a week a year. I am content, however, because this only shows how much I get from this place in just a day’s time.
I see only smiles and words of love passing around when we see each other. We know we miss home but also that no other place could feel so much like home. We all have differently colossal expectations for UWCMC, yet we are rarely disappointed. Perhaps this is because of how much we trust in this place’s ability to reveal the best in us. For me personally, I have never been challenged the way I am in UWCMC before, which is why I have never seen myself grow as much as I have in the past year.
So, while our first day begins with a cautionary warning of a tumultuous third semester full of two and three lettered acronyms (EE, TOK, IAs) we are overwhelmed only by the phantoms of last year, a hundred phantoms that have taken on new faces this year. These faces are red with enthusiasm and nerves. They take me back to my first day, their expressions mirroring mine from a year ago. But their excitement is very catchy and is, as I have come to realise, a way for UWCMC to revive itself every year. A spark lights another and just like that our hill is alive again.
When I reflect on my first year and try to investigate how I have grown as a person, I realize that it has to be the people on this hill; 250 people all with their own unique set of values and individual perspectives. Many may doubt multiple aspects of our UWC movement and education, but if they could have seen how these 250 relationships took shape – from awkward smiles, small talks, to stomach clutching, laughter triggering conversations, they would agree that there is something we are doing right – something which potentially has the ability to change the world.
And thus we grow the 250 beautiful souls on the beautiful hill. Some become world leaders, some do not, but we all leave and live with tools to create an impact in whatever sphere of the world we decide to be a part of when we leave our home on this hill.
Stuti Behari (India, ’16)
Connect Workshop at UWCMC | Video Courtesy: Antoine Guglielmi (UWCMC, ’16)