by Anonymous, UWCM
12th of July, 2022
Today as I sit in class I run over the events of the day. Today I woke up, watched Tiktoks, brushed my hair, brushed my teeth, and ate breakfast. Had a few conversations then went to class. Today in class I did my work, went to my room at break and returned. The day before that was the same and before that again, an uninterrupted monotony interrupted by weekends and the occasional violation of the code of conduct.
Thinking back through my second year I realised that I can only remember monotony and negativity. In my first year I cannot remember a single day of school, granted we didnʻt go to school all that often but I do remember each day was an adventure; dancing in the fields, a text in the Island at 2 a.m. ʻMENSA PARTYʻ, birthday showers in the cage (sorry Paul), biking for hours to find an adventure, hanging out with people I had never talked to until there wasnʻt anyone I had never talked to. I know our first year was far from perfect and to be honest the new found quiet on this campus isnʻt completely unwelcome, I have definitely spent a lot more time working.
I donʻt think that a quieter campus means that it isnʻt a UWC, but I do think that it is becoming increasingly more difficult for myself and many others to consider this school a UWC at all. Second years who are in every organising committee, leading numerous activities, created many new initiatives (by this time last year) who were instrumental in our community are now locked in their rooms frantically trying to finish that last assignment. The first years are complaining about deadlines, tests, cliques, and how their UWC experience was not good. And members of the staff who our second years villainized became the good ones through no fault of our own. Our community is as it seems to have every year crumbled a little bit more, and the worst of it, it’s our fault, but it does mean that we can change it.
In June of 2021, our second years had left, and we began to feel division amongst our community. Our response, a Residential Community Meeting. Shockingly it helped. It didnʻt magically heal all divisions and create the utopia we all saw on the pamphlets and photos coming here but it forced us to talk to one another. We heard from all sides of the division, spoke openly and heard every voice. We learned the division between us wasn’t a product of group hatred or even really exclusivity, it was a matter of interest, personality, and individuality. In every society we see this, diversity extends past our labels into every aspect of our lives which creates division and to be the champions of this as we claim we need to respect them but we canʻt let division divide our community.
This year I have heard over and over that the campus is divided into cliques, as ever, but unlike the previous years these groups have been set for too long. You are defining your UWC experience, your friends and your life through the facilities of one group for all of 2 years?
So to the first years I leave you some advice
You have been chosen to be here. You have chosen to be here… but so was everyone else. Think about why you are here.
I donʻt think it was because you wanted to be part of the coolest group on campus. I donʻt think it was because you wanted to join an echo chambre of voices validating your opinions at every turn. You are a UWC student and you have been given an opportunity to learn an entirely new story every day, but you’re not?
At the end of it all I guess I donʻt really care, I will be leaving in a few months but I would hate to spend my last months here surrounded by the next generationʻs complaints about something that they have the power to change.
Love (or not),
Some Bored Second Year