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Class of 2020: Feyi Apampa


by Sandra Leow, United World College Maastricht
20 May, 2020


Feyi spent most of her childhood days with her sister. From attending a boarding school in Nigeria to secondary school in Kenya, her sister was always physically there for support. A turning point in her life was when she made the sole decision to attend UWC Maastricht. This was a huge shift for Feyi, as her support system was no longer physically present, and ultimately, she was 2881 miles away from home. 

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Little did she know, UWC Maastricht would soon feel like home. “It helped me grow up. I learned to be more cautious about the things I say – some things that may not be offensive to me can be offensive to someone else. Most of all, the most enriching aspect of UWC was being able to learn about different cultures. For instance, I did not even know of Tajikistan’s existence until I met Mavzuna.” 

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Feyi notes that her journey in UWC was not always smooth-sailing. Before attending UWC, Feyi preferred having her own space. She associated herself as more reserved and quiet. Sitting in Mensa on the first day, a jumpy and optimistic ‘kid’ introduced herself. 

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“Hello! I am Lily from Zimbabwe.” Feyi was in a state of confusion as she muttered to herself, “WHAT IS THIS CHILD ON?!” However, Lily helped Feyi get out of her comfort zone in almost a span of days. “With her help, I had the opportunity to make friends quicker, and that truly eased the process of settling in and feeling more at home.” 

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After settling in comfortably in UWC (though on some days, it wasn’t always the easiest), Feyi and her peers had to leave UWC in an abrupt manner. Without proper goodbyes, physical graduation, not even LSD – it all feels unreal. What made this experience ‘real’ was manifested by her fellow friends and all the little pockets of sunshine in which she holds dear in her heart. 

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Some of her fondest memories include ‘the adventures near the lake with Pien and friends,’ ‘the month of June specifically where my year started bonding,’ ‘Oh, how could I forget Cigdem and Scott’s classes,’ ‘Scott’s obsession with Edward and their whole bromance,’ ‘And not to forget, a special shoutout to my Goathi sisters where I had the privilege of having eight roommates instead of the usual three’. Ultimately, UWC represents a place where all the different ends of the world are located in one place – and this aspect of UWC, she believes, represents the beauty of this place. 

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Although Feyi is back in Nigeria, she finally has time to catch up on the sleep that she missed during her whole two years in IB. She also started focusing her attention on art, playing flute, and piano. She has been finding difficulties in having conversations with her friends from school due to the time zones. It’s been ‘stressful and truly unfortunate’. 

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“To be honest, it’s been slightly overwhelming. Just yesterday, I would’ve sat for my last IB exams. Probably would’ve chilled before the open house. My peers and I would’ve graduated and had traditional-styled graduation. Also, the thought of my IB results has been bugging me lately – I either did really well or really badly because there’s so much uncertainty. I even completed my Maths IA in the span of three days, oof.” 

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In order to carry on with the UWC movement in the future, Feyi wants to focus on the environment. “It is something I will try to advocate and practice in regards to climate justice, or even starting climate change marches that we initiated in school. I want to come up with ways to do peacebuilding and start clubs to advocate for peacebuilding and a sustainable future, something along those lines.” 

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Even though many things did not turn out the way we had hoped for – with no LSD, no graduation, we managed to conquer the IB without even taking the exams! “Ultimately, we grew as people, we are basically one big family and I want to wish everyone great successes in their future endeavors. I would like to especially thank my roommates for helping me throughout the year. Without them, I probably would’ve gone mad. Also, the cocktails gang – you know who you are, for all the fun times we shared. I would also like to thank my African community, especially my firsties. Although the dynamics were different in my first and second year, the African community was present and we all had a strong bond.” 

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From being able to be in close proximities with my fellow friends to walking across and visiting Nelson Mandela or King Willem, to making jokes with the Mensa staff, and strangely enough, the terror of the screaming kids and quacking ducks, Feyi believes that the small campus made everyone a lot closer – and she appreciates her strange yet fruitful time in UWC. 

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Special thanks to Feyi Apampa for the interview.

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