Five months after leaving UWC Dilijan, almost two months into my new university life in London - the UWC Congress caught me at the right moment.It was as if I were in a transit area, still jetlagged from my previous flight, but my next flight was delayed. I was carrying too big a baggage, and I was not sure about what to take with me next, what was useful and what was just adding unnecessary weight.
After two years of assembling a new life, a new world, you flee, leaving the people and the memories. It seemed as if everything was disappearing one day at a time, as if there was nothing to get a grip on. UWC lets you go, and you start diving into the unknown, but then again, UWC Congress was my parachute.
Under the shining sun of Trieste, the Congress made me realise the magnitude of the UWC movement, the amount and diversity of people involved in it in one way or another. The Congress gave me the opportunity to see all the layers of UWC: the ideological, educational, economic, sustainable, artistic, scientific, national and international side of UWC. This movement requires all types of expertise and individuals, united under one mission.
The UWC Congress gave me the opportunity to have a say in all sorts of discussions, to hear about others’ opinions on topics that I am very interested in. Moreover, I had the opportunity to think about aspects of UWC that one cannot appreciate from the inside, such as the incredible contribution of the National Committees in bringing people together.
THE UWC CONGRESS ALSO
MADE ME SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE
Hearing from outstanding people in the field of humanitarian aid I could understand the meaning of the mission in the context of the world’s current issues, the pressing need of becoming a change-maker in my new community.
The Congress helped me realise that UWC really is a movement. It is a movement because it is dynamic, ever growing and ever improving. New schools, new educational models, new platforms for UWC Alumni, and the list continues. It is a movement because it is fluid; it encompasses people from all over the world, of all ages and from all fields. It is a movement because no matter how you enter it, from the bottom as a student or from the top as a National Committee member, you are in it, you move with it towards fulfilling the mission.
A PART OF ME WILL ALWAYS BE IN DILIJAN
While you are at UWC, it is hard to see the bigger picture. However, after two hectic days of conversation around UWC, one realises that these two years are the outcome of the thousands of hours of work, hundreds of people and the energy being put into the movement. Two years at UWC give you the tools, and once you move on, it is time to use them to give back to the community.
Leaving Dilijan, I felt despair: the best two years of my life were over, but I still had the feeling that UWC remained the essential part of me. It felt as if the only way I was attached to UWC Dilijan was my past, through nostalgia and memories. However, the Congress made me realise that I can still be connected to UWC Dilijan and the movement as a whole in the present, since Alumni contribution in any form is so required. My connection to Dilijan and to UWC is everlasting, in the past, in the present, and in the future. It was the start and the anchor of my path as an agent for positive change. We must strengthen the Alumni Community, since the value of UWC does not lie in its buildings or websites, but in its people.
The UWC Congress made me feel at home and realise that one never leaves this place. it helped me realise that a part of me will always be in Dilijan, and that I can always come back, in the past, present or future.