Liana Star, Grade 12
- I think most UWC students can confidently state that UWC has been the most impactful aspect of their lives so far. We move out at around 16 years of age, and are immediately cast into an entirely new (and sometimes strange) social, mental, and physical setting. Culture shock is very much real at UWC, as most of us are moving to new countries (or even continents). This leads to a beautiful sense of exploration within each and every student, we constantly curiously explore our new surroundings. I am grateful for UWC because it has humbled me. When thrown into a new environment, suddenly everything wasn’t so easy. I struggled in school, I was incredibly homesick, and at times, I was miserable. Apart from all of this though, I gained a newfound level of confidence. Suddenly I could manage my own financial accounts, doctors appointments, and cook entirely for myself, things that I never even would have considered back home.
- This CAS feels like my lifeline to UWC at times, the point which I connect most with the community. I am the leader of CW CAS and the level of creative thinking it requires constantly pushes me to reach new limits. My voice has become much more refined since beginning my participation in this CAS, as well as my critical thinking skills in general.
- Prior to being a writer, I was always a reader. As a child, I sought out any sort of literature I could ingest as quickly as possible. I truly believe that my large collection of books is the reason as to why I feel confident in my writing abilities and have been praised for them. I am grateful that prior to even attempting to write, I was taught (via books) the power and stylistic choices that accompany “good” writing.
- I am grateful for my ability to write for a few reasons. Firstly because it makes school much easier when you are able to articulate your thoughts in an effective manner. Secondly though, it allows me a new outlet to express myself without needing anyone else’s input.
- My family has always been extremely supportive of my (many) sometimes extreme ideas. They let me spend a summer in Costa Rica working on a farm, they let me attend UWC at 16 years old, and they’ve never told me no. Having people who want to see me succeed has taught me to be that support system for others. It curbed lots of the jealous tendencies that accompany teenagehood and taught me to be happy for others, rather than to resent their successes.
- I am extremely grateful for my coyears from the US, they truly have been my family since I began my time at UWC. When I feel homesick, I can reach out to one of them and immediately it feels as though everything is going to be alright. Being able to connect with someone who not only understands the superficial aspects of my culture, but also the humour and nuances provides more comfort than I’m able to find anywhere else within the UWC community.