by Annamaria Porta, UWCM
12th of July, 2022
Are these ingredients truly the only way you can be a good UWC student? Is the good UWC student an exemplary one? We all want to make it through these years with a great adventure in our memories. But the frustrating grey cloud above your head makes you wonder whether you fit in, or if you are doing enough.
We are more than just an IB school. United World College is more than just an international school. It is built around values, the forces that unite the diversity of our world. The praise that the brand gets for its mission generated these ingredients for all its students. They are just what is expected of you, to be the spitting image of the school and to represent it just the way they want it. You got here one way or the other. Something made you different from others, it made you stand out and someone once said; “You kid, have determination to do something great, you belong in UWC!” Once getting here you’ve looked at the older students and thought to yourself how great they are doing. They tick all the boxes; being part of various clubs, goes out on Friday nights, looks bright and healthy in the morning, studies enough and is celebrated by all their teachers. This is indeed the spitting image, encouraged by our community and it became our model, the base of what our experience should look like. Though truly, behind that good UWC student, a human lies within. What others might not see beyond an unblemished star is the piles of stress on one’s back, the weeks that only seem like hours, combined with high expectations to get everything done. One only realises this through experience and time. There cannot be an exemplary UWC student, not without some fear of imperfection, of sacrificing sleep and grades for club meetings, not without drowning in overwhelmness. Even to the person that you see stands out in your grade, praised for the work and involvement in our community, that grey cloud still floats above their heads making them wonder if they are truly doing enough to belong in UWC.
So, what should the juice actually be made out of? You stood up for what you believed, you voiced an opinion and decided to put yourself out there, that is already the portrayal of UWC. You made friends who value you for what you have to offer, you found a club which became your escape from the real world, you became passionate about a subject and your personal efforts reflect that. There is one main ingredient to the UWC student, missing in most people and unknown by others. The only box you need to tick is finding self-acceptance.