And so, the last term begins…

The first few weeks back in Mostar have not exactly been a breeze, to put it nicely; there were deadlines of various papers and essays, a couple flare-ups for the Student Council (and consequently myself as a Student Representative) to handle, and of course trials starting.

But, things worked themselves out, as they always do. Hours of work later, the essays were turned in on time, and multiple meetings per week (sometimes even per day) meant that the mini-crises were handled satisfactorily. Trial exams, on the other hand, have not turned out so favorably… Thank goodness they’re just trials, although it is a wake-up call to how much I’ll have to study for the real exams.

All this considered, there’s also been a strange, bittersweet feeling that I just can’t shake. See, I was in my third year of high school when I applied to UWC. And since we don’t find out about getting accepted until late April, I had to live as though I wasn’t going to be. That meant that I had my entire last year before graduation lined up: Managing Online Editor of my school’s newspaper, Senior Class Officer on the student council (a position that included speaking at graduation), and President of my Youth in Government delegation, to name the highlights. Then I got the phone call about being accepted and all that went away. All my thoughts about college applications, gone. Suddenly, life was put on pause for a bit, like I had a stay of execution for a year.

And now, here I am, with the days until graduation disappearing, still working my hardest to do whatever I can for this school and my fellow students without much consideration to the fact that I won’t be here next year to see if things work out. The restless part of me is ecstatic about that; I can’t wait to get out into the “real world” and start working on making a “real impact” on people’s lives, although I haven’t exactly figured out what that means yet. But the other sentimental part of me doesn’t want it to be over yet. That same “real world” that I am so excited also makes me want to turn the opposite direction and run straight back into the comforting arms of this incredible experience and my amazing UWC family. So, my emotions seem to be walking a line firmly down the middle of these two parts of me, wobbling as I lean too much to one side once in a while, but always coming back to the bittersweet center.

Well, all that introspective reflection aside, there’s something to be said about going through times of stress to make you appreciate the little moments of good even more.

“If we didn’t have the darkness of night, how could we appreciate the stars?”

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