Hallo! Ich heiße Gwen! I’ll be heading to UWC Robert Bosch College in Germany in a few months, and I’m really excited to venture forth on this amazing adventure!
I struggled quite a bit writing this mini “autobiography” because I just didn’t know how to showcase my unadulterated self to the world. As someone who believes that actions speak louder than words, I feel that no amount of words can do any of my fellow UWC scholars or myself justice. Nevertheless, I’ll give it my best shot!
I first found out about UWC through its Tumblr website back in 2013. The idea of an international education was not a new concept to me, having been brought up in an international school in Thailand, I roughly knew what to expect (i.e. multiculturalism, lots of interesting discussions, hands-on activities and interesting school trips), but UWC offered the opportunity of studying and living independently in a faraway country, discovering more about the world and myself. This struck me as an chance I simply could not pass up on.
I suppose this is a good juncture for a self-introduction. I’m generally spontaneous, and I have a self-proclaimed carpe diem spirit, which I believe is why I always seize opportunities to try new things. “Live life with no regrets” is an overused cliche, but it really sums up how I lead my life. Admittedly, my spontaneity causes “in hindsight, that might not have been a
good idea” to be a constantly-used refrain, but ultimately I would rather have had the experience than look back and wonder “if only”. I’m someone who hates being caught up in the past because I believe in living in the present.
As a spontaneous person, I discover new hobbies almost on a monthly basis. I’m currently experimenting with watercolours, which is going surprisingly well considering my dismal art grades in secondary school. Despite my ever changing hobbies, I do have some lasting passions in my life. For example, I really love sports, especially squash and team sports like frisbee!
Another passion I have is debate! I joined debate a tad bit unwillingly back in 2012, but it has really grown on me and I’ve made lifelong friends and treasured memories. Additionally, debate has helped hone my public speaking skills, confidence and also deepened my knowledge of current affairs and global politics. It was also through debate that I got to participate in Model United Nations (MUN), and I hope to continue debating in UWCRBC.
I love music but I have no idea how to play a musical instrument (except ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ on the recorder). My fellow zero-years have assured me that they’ll teach me how to play an array of musical instruments and I’m really geared up about going to UWCRBC! I also love nature, especially its tranquility, and I can’t wait for the outdoor weekends in the Black Forest!
Another guilty pleasure of mine is writing. On good days, I’ll be inspired to write poetry, although they rarely see the light of day because I’m rather self-conscious about my writing -- especially since poetry is a way for me to bare all my unchecked emotions and start afresh. On the other hand, on bad days, I’ll just be in bed going through a “depersonalization moment” -- basically me going through a mini-existential crisis. To be entirely honest, it’s happening more and more lately because I still can’t believe my dream is coming true. I must confess, I’ve been counting down to 24 August and wondering just how much my life will change from then on.
I’ve been asked so often within these past few months, “Why UWC?”. To be honest, I still don’t know the answer. I’m not sure I can express this feeling in any language; this desire for new experiences, to escape ignorance (because ignorance is not really bliss), to be part of something bigger, to discover myself.
I’ve also been asked why I want to leave Singapore as I’ll be leaving behind friends and family. The thing is, I fear the unknown, but I’ll embrace it all the same. I will miss the familiarity of Singapore; the weekly “hi uncle, dry meesua less chilli please”, fifteen minute train rides into town, debate training in B48 till 9.30pm, my boisterous class, playing the occasional CSGO late-night match with my brother, but I’m leaving certain in the knowledge that Singapore is my home, and that I can return anytime.
I am reluctant to bid these comforts farewell, but there are two things I want to make sure I leave behind -- doubts and regrets.