It’s indescribable to explain the serenity and peace of a UWC campus during exeat. A place, usually so filled with passion and emotion, is suddenly like a sleeping giant; a silence before the storm. Choosing to stay on campus over travel week was definitely a smart decision, one I initially made with rationality of the oncoming deadlines and exams, but it was only during and after that I realised it was mostly a retreat for my emotions and my mind. Calm can be found in the busiest of places after they close.
I was tired at that time. I’m tired now and I’ll most likely be tired tomorrow. I always expected third term to be a sprint, but now I know that it’s a marathon. Deadline after deadline and exam after submission, you become tired; submissive. This is perfectly exemplified by when I submitted my EE. After working on it for days, weeks and months there was little time to celebrate the four thousand word hegemon, because my Global Politics EA was due just 10 hours later. Double all nighters are a thing.
At the time of writing exeat seems like a distant memory. A time of quiet and peace not before, but in the middle of a storm. We’re almost there. My tickets are booked for the 14th of December and my friends back home are already making plans. God, I’m excited.
The time of endings is also the time of reflection and this term has been a
clusterfuck collection of surprises and loose emotions. We were ready to lose our 2nd years, but we weren’t ready to lose the place that they had created. MUWCI is different this year. Not better, nor worse. Just different. I miss my friends and 2nd years who’re now abroad and on adventures, whilst I feel stuck here for another year. I feel so spoiled for feeling stuck, because this place was my is mine and so many others dream and I better make the fucking most of it while it lasts.
There are upsides to being a second year though. You don’t feel (as) lost as in your first year. Where your first and second term was a time of failing, exploring and misunderstanding misinterpretations, second year is calmer. Having first years is fun and oddly nostalgic to when you came here first. I mean, they’re hardly much younger than you, but seeing them make the same mistakes and mishaps as you did in your first year and worry about the same redundant things makes you see the cycle happen.
The joy of seeing the innocence with the way first years exaggerate the smallest things, go on emotional roller coaster rides and constantly remind you just how amazing this place is makes me content. We’re cynical second years who’ve seen it all before and call it average. How fucking dare we. This excitement is leaving because of us. I hope I didn’t contribute to the killing of that excitement; it’s leaving the campus and being replaced with rationalism and cynicism. A new status quo.
It still feels like yesterday; the day I got accepted. I remember every step of the journey to get here, thinking that MUWCI was the goal whilst it in itself is the ultimate journey. Fuck visa problems, goodbye parties and crying relatives, you won’t understand the impact of leaving until you get here. And when you think it’s all over and the storm has passed, MUWCI sweeps you off your feet and throws into a sea of insecurity. What happens when you bring some of the most consequential and self assured teenagers from around the world into the same school? Extreme narcissism and none of us ever being enough.
So here’s to third term;
A time of all nighters and awakenings.
A time for planning your future and scrapping your plans.
A time for disappointment and failure.
A time for hard earned sevens easily slipping into disappointing fours.
But if we try just a bit harder, a time for love, exploring, understanding, adventure and most importantly of all
a time for change.