Preparing for Hong Kong
Preparation weekend of UWC
This weekend was a quite amazing time. On Thursday, I went to Waldmünchen (a small town close to the border of the Czech Republic). It took me quite a while to get there but it was absolutely worth it. Around 80 people met up there for the annual Zero-/First-Year Meeting of UWC students. Around 40-50 Zero-Years (Zero-Years are students who will attend an UWC next school year) were there. The meeting is supposed to be an opportunity for asking questions about life at boarding school, adaptation to a new environment and it is - most importantly - time for talking. For talking to other Zero-Years, to people who are visiting an UWC and also for asking people who have graduated from an UWC.
When I arrived in Waldmünchen, I did not really know what to expect. I had absolutely no idea what we were going to do over the weekend. The sad thing is that I missed a class outing due to the preparation weekend. My whole class (except me) went to Strasbourg and had a fun time. But I wanted to go to the preparation weekend because I had some questions about the IB (International Baccalaureate) and I wanted to get to know my German coyear a little bit better. What are coyears? Coyears are students that are in the same year. So you could say that all Zero-Years are coyears. But the term coyear can also be used for students who are in the same year at a certain school. So my German coyear for the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong is only one person. His name is Lukas and he's a pretty cool person and I think we'll have a good time in Hong Kong. The thing that makes me so sure about this is that he's in love with "Game of Thrones" as well - and everyone who likes this series can become my friend. It's the same with Nutella. Don't worry, these aren't the only criteria which make me choose my friends, but if you like one of the two things, you got some brownie points.
But let's get back to the weekend. There were so many people that it was impossible to talk to everyone and it was absolutely impossible to remember all the names. But all of us tried to keep as many names in our heads as possible. Because I'm terrible at remembering names I was the person that kept asking people to tell me their names - even if I had five conversations with them before. Although we didn't know each other that well we became a group really quickly and you had the feeling that everyone was opened up to new things, was curious and everyone was interested into getting to know the others. It is a quite cool atmosphere when you are in a group where everyone is willing to participate and where no one's judging people because of their looks or interests. Over the weekend we had some interesting, inspiring and amazing conversations.
I've met so many people this weekend and I haven't had the opportunity to talk to all of them, but I think that I can still say that they are amazing. All of us had some different interests and opinions also differed, but that's what made it interesting. Let me give you an example: Have you ever heard of the "Save the Vaquita"-Day? Well, I hadn't heard of it until a girl from the UWC in Germany told me about it. A lot of us drew some posters and took photos with them to make people be aware of this day. She inspired a large group of Zero- and First-Years to join this project.
We also got some time to ask questions about the IB and college life. The First-Years gave us some advice on how to survive the IB and they also told us some of their stories from life at an UWC. It was very interesting to hear something about life at an UWC from people who are already attending one and it also took away some of my fears. The thing I worried about the most was how to get along with my roommates. I still think it will be weird at first because you live with some strangers you have never seen before. But the First-Years all made friends easily and they all handled the new situation. I hope that I'll get to know my roommates quickly and that we'll become friends. No one seemed to have struggled with getting close with their roommates.
Honestly, all these facts we talked about were super informative, but they're not what I think about when I think back to the weekend. We did some way more amazing stuff. The idea I liked the most was that we were able to write small letters to the other people. Everyone had a small envelope with his name on it. All envelopes hung at the wall and you could just write a letter and put it in the envelope of the person you wrote the letter to. I think this idea is super lovely and I would not have thought that this would really work, but it did! Everyone had some cute letters at the end and it just makes you happy to read the messages from others! But we also had to write a longer letter - but this time to ourselves. We were supposed to write about anything that we want to write about and the letter would be addressed to our future self - more precisely, our self in one year. They'll give the letter back to us in a year and I honestly don't know what I'll think about my letter then but I think I'll have a good laugh. I did not really know what to write and I just kept writing things that came to my mind and I guess that I wrote more pointless things than anyone else, but hey, I just did what I wanted to do and that's ok.
The best thing about the whole weekend was the last night. The last night, all of us went to a nearby lake and we had a campfire there. We sat there, sang songs, passed around some chips and watched the sky (you won't believe what the sky looked like - I have never seen as many stars as I have this night). This was just a moment that sticked to all our memories and it was like a perfect moment. Because all of us had fun and everyone felt amazing. I guess everyone has already had moments like this, but it's always amazing when it happens. I'm so thankful for having had the opportunity to go to this preparation weekend, to meet all of this amazing people and to be able to keep all of these beautiful memories.
Lots of Love,