So the end of the year is fast approaching and I haven’t written on this blog much, but I have been pretty busy, and the three goals I set out this year have been achieved, even in a very roundabout way. Buckle up, prepare for a long, rambling blog post.
Okay, I am not going to lie, I am still kinda bitter about this. For anyone who doesn’t know, UWC stands for United World Colleges; a group of 16 international schools around the world that aim to bring students together from all over the world to educate for peace and a sustainable future. I applied to UWC Australia (the National Committee) in 2015, I got to the interview stage, but no further. I applied again, much to my parents’ frustration and contempt, got to the interviews to find Alanah from last years interviews there again, as well as several other siblings of last year’s applicants. I can’t articulate how gratifying it is to find “One’s people”, talking to people who aren’t small-minded and unconcerned about the state of the world. Maybe two, three agonising weeks later, Mairi, the Victorian coordinator and coincidentally my school librarian called me and told me I’d been offered an unfunded place in UWCCR, that is in Costa Rica. Note the UNFUNDED in that last sentence. Tuition for two years alone is AUD $86,000, now I don’t know about you but my fam nor I have that kind of money sitting in the bank or in their mortgage. So on the money account, going to UWC was a no.
It also didn’t help that my father had been against UWC from the start, I don’t wish to bad-mouth my family, however, I can’t ignore how he insinuated that UWC was a cult school and that “You are going to do well anywhere, so why would you need to go to UWC”. For the benefit of non-UWCers, completely ignored the desire for the experience of UWC, the chance to interact with such a diverse student body and allow for a kind of tangled transformation. My Dad flat-out refused to consider what it meant to me, even after I made some of the most well-reasoned arguments I have ever made. Angry doesn’t even begin to explain how I
felt feel, I think heartbroken, furious, disappointed more accurately conveys how I feel. I can’t tell you that much more about our exchange; it was that stress-inducing that I unknowingly repressed the entire episode. I realise now that I feel like part of my identity; my values more specifically have been rejected by my father, in the way he behaved to me during that entire saga. Even writing about it now has tears leaking out of my eyes, my throat constricts and leaves me feeling humiliated.
Aside from all that, I could never regret finding UWC, I regret my fam’s reaction and that the Australian National Committee is a non-tax deductible charity. But finding UWC allowed me to give a name to the ideals that are important to me and to find “my people”. I’ve met very interesting, lovely people in the process. Not getting into UWC in 2015 also allowed me to go on exchange in Denmark with the loveliest family in the entire world, those two months were the best of my life
So for my friends who might read this on the off chance; this explains my headspace better than I could ever express to you verbally. To those who follow the UWC tag or those looking for advice about UWC. APPLY, you only have something to gain. Despite the funding inequality in the system, if the ideas and values light you up from head to toe like a Christmas tree, then apply no matter how small the chance of getting in is. Because even applying can completely change your outlook on this life and our world. You will meet fantastic people at the interviews, who motivate you to continue to make a positive change in the world.
Queen’s Scout Award
This has been a long-term goal I have been working on since mid-2013, I have been part of the Scouting movement for nearly 10 years now. The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest award you can get in youth scouting. It is a series of badges that involves, adventurous activities, community involvement, leadership development and personal growth. Trust me it sounds a hell of a lot harder than it sounds. The first thirteen badges, involve a minimum of 10 hours of work *read 15 hours work with paperwork*, the other four involve 30 hours of work *read 50*. Amongst all that, I organised and ran 2 hikes, over 40 hours of community service, leadership and unit management courses, acting as the Unit Chairperson for 6 months, initiative (even when I had UWC interviews early the next day) and first aid courses, working with conservation groups, caving weekends, debates, visits to churches, mosques, councils, police stations, community centres and more, learning photography, yoga classes, job interviews and industry research activities. *Three and a half folders of paperwork later* I finished my Queen’s Scout in August with three months spare until I was 18. However, I would never have finished my Queen’s Scout with all the help and support of my leaders and parents, as well as Jess, who really motivated me to finish mine when the going got tough. it was tough finishing it in August thus year, smack bang in the middle of Year 12. Where I definitely could’ve spent more time studying and not stressing about my Queen Scout.
But it was totally worth it, I am really proud of myself for doing it and showing myself that I have the potential for leadership, hard work, dedication and commitment. It’s been a long time coming, so I am really pleased with myself and I can freely say I have earned the right to be. Also being presented something by the Governor of Victoria at Govt House was awesome!
Scouting has seriously moulded me throughout the years, my friends in Venturers have always stood by me through the years even when people at school were horrible. Much love.
Saved the ugliest til last. Writing this at 2 am in the morning has really reminded me of why I disliked VCE. It’s been a tough year as Year 12 is meant to be. Last year I took Legal Studies and poured my life into studying for it, but at the end of the year, I was exhausted and had such a high expectation of myself that I screwed up the exam. So I ended up with a 35 (out of 50) which was highly disappointing for me and with scaling (that is rife within the ATAR system) it came down to 33.
But this year I decided that I would put less pressure on myself and try and achieve my other goals (UWC and QS) just as much as getting the ATAR I need to get into my course. It also made me reconsider how much my sanity is worth to me. I still got very little sleep but I had more fun and was much less stressed about it than the year before.
Btw my goal was to get into a double degree in Global Studies/Law at Monash University which requires a score of 98. Which is really high for people who are unfamiliar with ATAR system. I ended up getting a 96!! Which is incredible and I still can’t believe that I’ve done it and I’m able to go straight to Law School next year!! (No I don’t go to a private school or a selective public school, I went to an averagely unfunded public school, so yeah I got there without being spoonfed :D) This is because Uni’s take a large percentage of students from people under the clearly in score, the two people I know doing the same course actually got the 96 and 97 so I know there is a real chance of getting into my course. Also, Monash Guarantee of 94 for underrepresented schools basically guarantees me a place there. YEEE!!
As well as that, I had some great friends throughout this year at school, Leela, Zac, Max, Julia and teacher who rule like Basto and Brownie. I had Valedictory a couple of nights ago and it was so nice just being able to hang out all together one last time.
So what next…
Well, I don’t know that exactly either. I want to do so many things that I am not sure where to start. Now that I have a score, that will guarantee me a place in my course. I am thinking about deferring a year and working and travelling for a year. As I want to return to the DK to spend some time with my host fam and master Dansk. Also, there is a big camp there next year. But for now, I actually need to find another job for Summer because my boss now let me know 8 days before Xmas that he didn’t have any work for me
Since finishing High School I haven’t really done much, just hanging out, experimenting with cooking. going to the beach, going to gigs ( Saw Allday at the State Lib for free WOO) and spending hideously long times on the internet.
Peace and love everyone ❤
Godt Jule og Godt Nytar!
Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru!