“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
John Green, Paper Towns
I'm writing these lines in my last hours in Germany. The past weeks have passed by so fast and I can't believe that it's already time to leave again. It's hard to leave home behind and fly around the world once again. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than thankful for having had the opportunity to go home, see my family and friends and spend some time with them. But three weeks can go by really fast and before you even realise that you've spent a couple of weeks in your home country, you're already packing your bags again and thinking about the time it will take you to get to the airport.
I always shed tears when saying goodbye. But my tears are tears of gratitude for the amazing friendships and relationships, tears of appreciation. In fact, my tears are more like glitter than like something sad. Of course, saying goodbye is hard. But only when you say goodbye, you realise what you have to come back to. You shouldn't be afraid of a hard goodbye, but of an easy one. Because the harder the goodbye, the happier the reunion.
It is when we say goodbye, that we grow. We learn to do things on our own. We learn to fix things on our own. And we learn to live on our own. Saying goodbye is nothing negative, it is a process of growth, appreciation and realisation. And although this sounds great, it is really tough.
At this point, I want to say thank you. To all of the people who made my past months amazing and possible. To my family that enabled me to go to Hong Kong and who was always there for me, no matter the time and the issue. To my beloved friends who have never forgotten me and who kept me in their hearts. And to my beloved rabbit, Mümi, who will always be my favourite thing about home! And to the people I've spent my life in Hong Kong with. To all those who made me smile! Since this is my first article in the new year, I thought this was the right time to say thank you. 'Thank you' is not really enough for all the gratitude in my heart, but it appears to be the best way to put those emotions into words.
Leaving one part of my life, and one of my homes, is hard but I'm really looking forward to going back to my other home. It is weird to have two so different places that you both call home. I'm loving both of them and whenever I get to one of them, I'm grateful to be able to call this place my home. Therefore, thank you for making both of my homes amazing places!
I decided to share these emotions to let all the people know how much I love them, but also to take away the fear of some who are thinking about attending a UWC in the future or who are dreaming of other adventures. The goodbye is not the part to fear. It is the not trying that you should fear. That's one of the things I told myself when applying for UWC. I wasn't really sure if I would be able to leave my home, but the one thing I was goddamn sure about was that I would ask myself forever if I would have gotten in. And so I tried.
When I learned one thing from the whole application process then it is that you should stop doubting your abilities. When being in the application process, many people questioned their intelligence, their talents and even themselves. But the thing to remember is that you are capable of much more than you think. And even if you don't see it, others do. Trust their judgement when they tell you 'you can' because you do. So if you're one of the lucky ones who got an invitation to the interviews of UWC, go there, enjoy it, and show them who you really are. The reason they picked you is because you are exactly as you are supposed to be. There's no point in pretending you would be smarter or interested in different things, it's about who you as a person are.
And don't be afraid of getting a rejection. It is, of course, not what you're hoping for, but it is also a chance. You get the chance to do something else in your life and you should use that. With this, I'm wishing the best to all the students who got an invitation and who will have the interviews! Best of luck to all of you and be yourselves!
With this, I am ending my first article of 2017 and I'm wishing best of luck for the new year!
Lots of love,