Two weeks left…

2.09 am

[And] just like that two weeks of sleep deprivation, intense revision and the lack of social life have flown by. I find it extraordinary to reminisce the fact that just a little over two weeks ago, along with the rest of my co-years, I stressed about the thought of exams.

Now, here I am, finally able to give myself the opportunity to reflect upon the last few weeks.

Firstly, some hazy yet recurring thoughts for myself and others:

  1. Undoubtedly, numbers are important. Grades play a significant role in your life. However, there is no need to go out of the way to put your health, mental health and the things you love to do at stake for a bunch of numbers
  2. Numbers nor your university defines you. It’s inevitable in a context like Hong Kong or in any other academically vigorous part of the world that people strive to achieve the best they can. Everyone is caught up on “the best grades, the best school, the best tertiary education and the best job”, rarely do people live in the moment. People are bound by the future and forget the element of the “presence” and how much we take it for granted Ironic coming from me, but, as you may have ceaselessly heard “ten years down the lane, your score out of 45 does not matter”. 
  3. You come first no matter what. No, this isn’t one of those self-centred or narcissistic comments, it’s purely the fact that as human beings we should be obliged to care for ourselves first before render for another. People are lost in the fast paced life we’re challenged with and prioritise every element but ourself and this poses to us a greater harm than good.
  4. It’s “ok” not be “ok”.  Who am I to have an opinion some may say, however, I personally find it comforting to have a strong support system of family, friends and teachers I can heavily rely on at the worst of times. It’s human intuition to tell ourselves we are “ok” when we’re not. The social stigma around mental health care and people’s ignorance towards the issue is an aspect that I’ve never been able to come to terms with. Everyone is special, everyone is deserving to have a place in this world and everyone truly should be able to talk to people regarding their problems without any judgement towards them.
However, it’s surreal to feel that in less than two weeks, I will be back in my home in the comfort of my bed that I rarely slept in even when I was home, the delectable home food I’ve been craving and that I can “actually” go back to India to see my grandparents. The thought of transitioning from a first year to a second year seems intensely daunting – it feels like just yesterday I struggled carrying my bulky, large and red suitcase up three flights of stairs. It’s relieving to have finished the end of year one exams – one of the most anticipated weeks of the year by many! Knowing their significance towards our predicted grades made the entire process of studying a crucial process and I’m glad to have survived through that.
I constantly remind myself that coming to UWC isn’t about just attaining high numbers that merely define your intellectual ability, but the ability to be able to have create a special cultural understanding amongst such a diverse body of students. Having said that, going to UWC is privilege, one that is not granted to everyone. If granted, does not place you on any pedestal that is higher than anyone else. In fact, it pressurises you (in a positive note) to stand by your beliefs and morals. Despite this, when you actually arrive here, you realize that this place simply isn’t for you. For one, I have deduced that even if you are accepted and claimed to be “UWC”, does not entirely ensure that this is the place you belong or that it is a place better than where you’re from.
On a completely irrelevant note, I was grateful to have been able to have dinner yesterday with one of favourite, genuine, down-to-earth second year – Alis Jones. We were able to catch up over the most amazing Korean food I’ve ever had. Many credits to Alis for that. The freedom from exams has completely overtaken us as we indulged ourselves in food and an endless conversation.
I was also able to celebrate with Ashwin [Nair] as he turned 18. He’s someone I’ve had the honour to have known for so long and practically grown up with. Ashwin’s has an immense impact on the type of person I am today and I genuinely treasure our friendship. I’m so happy to have had him as my “second year” here at LPC and as much as I’ll miss him, I know he’ll be close by and that’s entirely reassuring as he’s a gem undoubtedly.
At some point this week, I also found out that I passed my First Aid exam! Surprise, surprise – hopefully no one will be needing second aid (haha). So, I’m quite excited for this role next year!
Looking forward, there is exactly seven days until it’ll be time for me to say countless short goodbyes to the eternal friendships formed with our second years and remind myself that every experience is a honour granted to one – and it’s up to us to make the best of it. In six days, I will see the very unfamiliar faces that welcomed me into this school graduate with their certificates as now very familiar faces. 10 Lok Wo Sha Lane is without a doubt a bubble. A bubble that only less than 50% of Hong Kong has been exposed it. A bubble that entices of endless Cha Sui Bao, take-away sushi and Starbucks runs. However, assuredly, there will always be a home and space for the Li Po Chun United World College Class of 2017.

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