Emile Brozaityte, Grade 11
UWC ISAK Japan
As someone on Tik Tok once said: “life is about friends and adventures”. I believe that it is really important to know what you are grateful for in life and think about it from time to time. In the end, that is what adds true value to our journeys on this planet. Here are some speed bumps that I have come across in my life that made me stop, think, and thank the universe.
- I did not get into the top school in Lithuania.
All I needed were two points, two more points out of the 80 and my life would be completely different today. In grade eight I worked restlessly to prepare for the entry exams to Vilnius Lyceum. The entry exams never happened, because of corona, and we were admitted based on our grades. I was just below the bar but that is exactly what I am thankful for today. I did not know it then, but not passing was exactly what placed the opportunity that changed me forever in front of me - UWC.
- A 5 day 110 kilometer hike in grade eight summer.
My mom accidentally registered me to a camp that honestly looked like a cult. I was so unhappy with the idea of spending a week with them that I even made a complaining Snap about it. Little did I know it would turn out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I rediscovered my boundaries, my strength, and my perseverance. I was lucky enough to meet some of the most amazing people that changed me and showed me another level of friendship.
- Spending half of my first UWC year online.
Six months were spent getting up for school at 2 am, staring at a screen for hours of online classes and then for even more hours when doing projects and homework. Living together with my family but never seeing them, not getting to actually meet my classmates, and being constantly exhausted was a nightmare. However, those extreme conditions were exactly what allowed me to become as independent as I am today. I felt like a freelance student. I found new hobbies like kickbox and archery. They are also a big part of my life today and I would not have been able to do those things had I arrived at my school on time.
- I am grateful for the internet.
It changed our world. It was like cavemen discovering fire. It created all of my world that I know today. The Internet makes so many things easier and easily accessible to more people. Things like education, news, communication…
- I am grateful for people who fight.
I am fascinated with people that have strong, passionate beliefs and fight for them. I realise that so many people came before me that fought tooth and nail for what I have today. Freedom, safety, culture, comfortable living, language, peace, rights. And even today, there are so many people risking their own comfort, safety, freedom, and lives to fight battles that I am not. And I am endlessly grateful for that.