I don’t know how to start this post off. I am finding it very hard in the way that I have so many different emotions inside me and I simply can’t express them all. It has been almost two weeks since I said goodbyes to people I have spent my entire year with and drove down the hill. I have been flicking through graduation pictures, trying to hold on to memories I have with the second years and slightly regretting the limited amount of time I have spent with them. But on the other hand, I am so happy for them surviving their two years in MUWCI and being able to go on and pursue their next journey in life.
My first-year experience was amazing. It is impossible to describe my 9 months experience with some simple words. There have been ups and downs, things that I regret doing, a lot of stress, but mostly happiness. Happiness in a sense that I am doing things that I love and enthusiastic about- Fire Service, Kriya Frisbee, Ultimate Frisbee etc. Happiness in a sense that I am learning things outside of the classroom. Happiness in a sense that I know I have a strong support system- people who are willing to listen to every single thing I spit out from my mouth without any judgement, but encouragement and care instead. And most importantly, happiness in a sense that I feel love all the time from people around me.
Studying in UWC, being in MUWCI have been my dream since I learned about the movement on day one. I chose India as my first choice because it has been somewhere unknown to me, somewhere that I wanted to learn more about. I didn’t expect much before I go. I was making the most out of my time before MUWCI- ‘the most transforming experience’- and I know that I will step back home being someone completely different.
I walked into MUWCI without knowing anyone. All I know back then was I wanted to join Fire Service. But that was it. I didn’t open myself much during first term. I was trying to figure out everything that’s happening in MUWCI. A lot of things happened in first term that I regret massively, however, I guess those were things that made me stronger and shaped me into who I am now. I had close friends next to me who supported me and helped me out of hard times.
As second term approaches, I know that I wanted to take care of myself more and accomplished more here. I wanted to know more people, sleep more, study harder, and do things such as climbing up the internet tower. To be honest, I am not sure if I have achieved any of those. However, second term made me love MUWCI more than ever.
I have dedicated myself more to my trivenis- Fire Service and Kriya Frisbee (and ultimate frisbee of course!). I love Fire Service because I am always learning new things and overcoming challenges. I had the opportunities to hike the AMK fort with the team during project week. Being very scared of height, hiking on the edge of the cliffs for three days wasn’t necessary my cup of tea. But the scenery was beautiful and I appreciate the people around me a lot.
Aside than talking about random things and playing werewolves, we had the opportunities to reflect on outdoor education and experiential learning- both which I am passionate about! I think the AMK trip, along with Fire Service make me realize how much impact experiential learning have on my life and my personality. This was one of the most challenging things I have done in my life, but I am so grateful to have this opportunity to face the challenge.
Other than Fire Service, Ultimate Frisbee has played a huge role in my life this year. I went on a trip to Mumbai with a few very close friends of mine. We went to participate in an ultimate frisbee tournament, but most importantly we had a lot of fun!!! Although we miss the Holi celebration on campus, this was one of the best weekends this year!
Kate (the one that looks like a monkey) and Sirig (the one with tight shorts on the front right), are people I look up to throughout my year at MUWCI. They are strong and fearless, at the same time very caring. We joke about them being our parents, but they have actually played such a huge role in my life at MUWCI. I can’t wait to meet them years from now, going on another round of Thunder Tower, and seeing them achieve what they want to in life.
As first years were bombarded by assignments and deadlines, while second years were getting ready for mocks and exams, the Kriya Frisbee team also had the opportunity to travel to Mumbai for a beach tournament. This was a milestone for the Kriya Frisbee project. It was the first time for most of us to ever participate in an ultimate frisbee tournament. We put in so much effort for the tournament, from training, planning, budgeting, fundraising, to actually getting there, sorting rooms, waking up at 4 am, running at the Central Station of Mumbai to catch the train, being hungry, suffering through the heat on the sand, and battling on the Mumbai local train. But in the end, everything pays off. The smiles on everyone face, lay-outs, breaking gender barriers, and feeling like one big family. I crashed within seconds on the ride back to school from Pune train station with Phoebe, waking up realizing that I am back at MUWCI with IB again.
I don’t know how to express how close the Kriya Frisbee team has been this year, but I am so grateful for them. I look up to the second years on the team so much. For how crazy, but also lovely and strong they are. But we know that as our first and final Kriya Frisbee dinner came by, it was almost time to part.
I tried to hold on to everything towards the end of second term. It was very hectic and stressful in terms of IB but also events that were happening on campus. As end-of-year exams approached along with more deadlines, time also flew by. There were so many things that I wish I could have done but didn’t with the second years. There are regrets, but deep down inside, I pat myself on the shoulder and said, you have done enough.
I didn’t realize how close I was to the end until my exams ended. Taking off pictures from the wall of the room I barely spent time in, packing everything into suitcase and boxes and making sure that everything will be in order when I depart. Gathering next to a bonfire that we set and spending few last moments with people I got close with this term. I am so happy to see the second years walking down the aisle, collecting their certificates, finishing their two years journey on top of a hill, in the middle-of-no-where, rural area of Pune, India.
I started writing good-bye letters, to second years who I wish I have spent more time with, who I love and cherish. Not much more can be said, but tears dripped down as I wrote those letters. These are people who I look up to. They guided me through my MUWCI life, who I can literally run to and cry during hard times, but also the countless conversations and great memories I have with them. Nonetheless, grad night was a lot of fun, which definitely didn’t prepare us for the departure we had within hours on the next morning.
Saying goodbyes was very hard. It breaks my heart thinking how much they have helped me when I struggled through my MUWCI life, and all I can do is to cram everything that I wanted to say to them into some tearful hugs and goodbye. We forced ourselves to get on the jeep that set us away from MUWCI, and cried more as the jeep drove away from everyone else.
I guess this is the end of my first year at MUWCI. There’s not much else I want to say, other than how much I appreciate those who walked through this part of my journey with me. I am so grateful for having the opportunities to meet different people and experience crazy things at MUWCI, and I can’t wait till more memorable experiences next year.
With all love ❤