by Jens Lloyd, United World College Maastricht
May 3rd, 2018
[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]It’s strange to think I’ve been at this school for almost 5 years now. One part of me wonders how the seemingly endless period of time was only five years, while the other wonders where all the time went. As the end of this period stands in front of me, I do my best to ignore it and look elsewhere. Beside me are the choices I could have made, and behind me are the ones I did. Behind me are all the struggles and pain I’ve gone through in this school. Some self-inflicted, abandoning friends and isolating myself, and some not my fault, illness being the primary one. Whether you’re a veteran from the primary years, or a newer arrival from two years ago, you have to admit that this school holds memories. Many are bad, perhaps the saddest ones spring out at you first. This school is filled with sorrow, the walls are leaking suffering and the constant hum of Scott’s old projector must have accompanied more than a few of our bad days.
Yet, I can’t help but look back on it as an educational, even positive experience. The halls I walk through today are the same ones that taught me the most about life. The Atrium where I’d spend lunches messing around with friends during MYP is the same one in which I gave a rather pathetic presentation on this school’s short-lived rugby club (Jari you totally still owe me for not presenting with me) and where my interest was stoked to life by a charity known as Dreams Givers, which has turned into one the few things I’ve done in this school which I have not regretted. I walk by a window each day and it makes me pine for lunch, not because it’s a break from lessons, but because I know I’ll be there with a group of people that I truly care for. This school has been the primary focus of my life for a seemingly infinite amount of time, what everything revolved around. To see it go is going to be difficult, and why I can’t quite handle looking ahead just yet.
Perhaps this article, if you can call it that, is me trying to get a grip on what’s coming. Perhaps it’s me showing off. After all, according to Orwell, all writers are vain and selfish. It all depends on what you think about it, the reader. If you can relate to what I write and find yourself walking through school thinking back on every regretful choice and painful experience, but also every good moment or even just a place of routine, then I’m a genius. If after this article you think I’m an arrogant, self-absorbed arse who’s so high on the smell of his own piss he can’t see properly, then that’s exactly what I am. The fact of the matter is that I’m scared, terrified even, of the future, and I’m clinging on to the past in the hopes that I can stay in the familiar a bit longer.
This is foolish, of course. The future is coming, no matter what and I’m going to need to accept that in the next few weeks. Aside from that, the familiar of which I cling on to is not even familiar. All my experiences that I’ve had at this school have been as radically different people. My first few crushes were as a complete and utter idiot. Every once in a while, I think back and wonder whether the person that all that stupid stuff was truly me and not some mad imposter. Anyway, I won’t bore you with my life story, I just want to say that I’m not happy with the people I have been, nor am I entirely pleased with how I, as a person, have turned out. But I have learned one valuable lesson. Everyone feels like this. Everyone can feel weak and do things they’ll regret to the day they die, even when it’s not such a big deal to everyone else. Whether I have accepted this lesson is another thing, it may be impossible for the human mind to accept that everyone else’s mind is as infinitely complex and chaotic as itself, but knowing about it helps a little bit.
Concluding this rather chaotic and nonsensical article/essay/mess, all I really have to say is that you should take none of this as gospel. If you feel like you’ve only had good times at this school, then I am jealous of you. If you feel only burning hate at this school rather than my own confused mix of a little bit of good and a whole heaping of bad that somehow turns out positive in the end, then good on you. I’m only here to share my own thoughts in a place where at least a small amount of people can see. I’m sorry to all the people I’ve been creepy to in the past, god knows there’s a lot, and I’d like to thank the friends that helped me, sometimes unknowingly, through some of the hardest periods I’ve faced. I’d also like to thank everyone who is in this school, and who was in school during the time that I was here. Every single one of you makes this school, the moaners, the people who don’t turn up 90% of the time or the endlessly optimistic people who seem to be running everything like some sort of cartel which deals with conferences and school plays. The end is coming, but I’ll get to it when it comes.
The Flying Dutchman team consists of UWC students aiming to reflect the news relevant to the people engaged with the UWC movement.