Hallo! Ich heiße Christel, and as you may have guessed, I’ll be going to UWC Robert Bosch in Germany. One of the first forays into the possibility of a UWC world came when I chanced upon pictures of my senior and her multi-ethnicity friends donning various cultural outfits during a UWC event, splashed all over my Facebook feed. It seemed to be the epitome of racial harmony, when people of all ages, race and religion come together to celebrate and understand each other’s culture. Not to sneer at and mock their differences, but to truly glorify what makes each culture special. While Singapore comprised of many different races, for the last five years of my education, I’d been enrolled in a virtually homogenous Chinese school. It provided undeniably top-notched education, but I yearned for more than just the academic rigour, and wished to be exposed to such an international community. I remember writing that “I would also love to go through the unique learning experiences as well as to be immersed in that same multi-racial environment as my senior now is.”, and incidentally (also very fortunately), I am stoked to see this dream come true; I’ll be attending the same college as her.
It was actually pretty cool how the news that I had received the scholarship was delivered: I was in the midst of the Singapore International Model United Nations (MUN) conference and had literally just lobbied with a couple of girls who were also from United World College when my phone rang. The coincidence was uncanny. I started attending MUNs 2 years ago, which spurred my interest in global affairs and subsequently in international law. From then on, I participated in 5 to date
and am very excited to continue in UWCRBC. Representing the delegate from different countries, it intrigued me how lobbying and clout was utilized as well as balancing each countries’ interests. My MUN journey in Singapore ended with a trip to participate in Yale MUN in Korea, where I met many more international delegates and experienced a first taste of international perspectives.
Aside from my rather geeky MUN passion, I enjoy dabbling in almost every activity I can get my hands on. Music has been a huge part of my life I had been born into a family of crazy talented musicians; my mom being a pianist, my oldest brother being a virtuosic violin extraordinaire and playing the electric bass and my second brother, the drums. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped wanting to emulate their musical talent, and my musical journey was kick-started when I first picked up the violin-bow duo at the tender age of five and a half. I guess you could say that on paper, one of my greatest achievements was attaining a second Diploma for violin performance, but I believe the greatest joy of music still remains in performing and enjoying it with amazing company. I once jammed to old tunes with a couple of adults my parents’ age at one of their functions – though we’d never met before, we bonded and had a great time. To me, music is a means of artistic expression; and it constantly astounds me how music can transcend both age and culture, yet embody the essence of each. While I know language barriers will invariably present themselves in UWC, I take comfort in the knowledge that music will always be there to unite people together.
I enjoy basking in the outdoors and physical activities (I’m in love with ultimate Frisbee; enjoy cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, trekking, exploring, hiking but absolutely deplore running haha). Though I may have self-proclaimed two left feet, my not-so-guilty pleasure is attempting to bust some moves and dance. I would like to learn how to play the guitar, drums and sing (I only managed to have a short stint in my junior college’s choir). I understand that this is becoming a very long list of rather random activities, but I cannot overlook my number one love of gastronomic delights. Exploring cafes (sans financial limitation) and cooking with my brother is a lovely past time that I will probably miss. However, I think it’s safe to say that my schoolmates can expect to be the beneficiaries of some baked treats! On an even lighter-hearted note, I am a huge Disney kid and revel in the beauty that is nostalgic Disney movies (like Mulan and The Little Mermaid).
There are many defining aspects of Singapore like how people “chope” seats with tissue packets and its national dish of chicken rice, but what I think I’ll miss is the feeling of singing the national anthem and reciting the pledge (in two languages!) as I have for the last decade; the notion of a place being too “far” meant an hour’s ride from Pasir Ris to Joo Koon via our highly efficient transport system; where “long bus waits” meant half an hour; and perhaps I’ll even miss the humidity! (not)
Leaving this system I’d been getting so accustomed with (and ingrained to think I’d see through until university) and being catapulted to the other side of the world is a huge step wreaked with anticipation and excitement. I don’t know exactly what lies in store for me, but just as how a Frisbee keeps falling, is repeatedly scratched up and fraught with scars, the only way I’m going to soar is to pick myself back up and throw myself into the unknown. Buckle up, it’s adventure time.