Selma Rahimic

UWC attended: United World College of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Class Year: Class of 2023

I was named Selma, after the woman who played very important role in my mom’s life. But as I grew older and learnt to talk, I chose to be Ema. I stil don’t know why did I like that name so much, but I know that it became part of me. Now, there are people who call me Ema and the ones who call me Selma, and I don’t mind that being super confusing for most of them. I feel that both of my names are representing me and that their meanings and origins are intertwinned. I tell this story  very often as this question comes up almost always when I meet someone new, that’s why I chose to tell it at the beginning of this introduction.

I was born and raised in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the city on river with 7 bridges and turbulent history. My hometown was not just my home but home to so many generations of UWC. Living in Balkans made very attracted to the idea of unity of people of different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Luckily, two years of UWC gave me all of that. Besides, I was able to deeply discover myself, my viewpoints and passions. My experience was on a way different from other students’ as I lived at my home. Even if it sounds less challenging than living a residential life, it was really not.  It was about constant balancing of my Mostarian life I had before and the UWC life with all that comes with it. One of the most beautiful things about that journey is that it never stops, it has permanently shaped the way I look at the world and showed me all new perspectives to look at my city. Having this in mind, I chose Lewis & Clark because it gives off an impression of an open minded enviroment with culturally diverse community and positive, homelike vibration.

I believe that people are never monochromatic, but rather a spectrum of different shades and colors and accordingly I don’t want to limit myself on only one field of interest. At this moment, I want to major in Psychology and Theater, as both fill my heart with excitement. I’m uterely excited to explore everything that Lewis & Clark can give me, besides academics and extra currical programmes, I’m so excited to be part of the community and apsoultely belong there.

It may sound cliché but, being born after war, I always felt that the future of my country and the whole region lies on my generation’s shoulders. To move away from the ideologies that took our parents and grandparents to the battlefield, people need to overgrow traumas from war. From these and many more reasons, I want to study psychology and at some point, return to Bosnia & Herzegovina and engage in bettering mental health. In my opinion, it is immensly looked down and disregarded.

I’m going to Lewis & Clark with an open heart to learn and discover all new dimesnison of myself and the world. I’m looking forward to every little moment that is awaiting for me and I would like to end this little introduction with the words from the evergereen song ‘Selma’ from the famous Yugoslav rock band. It is based on true story from 1950s and is about girl travelling to college with her heavy suitcase. When listening to it, I see myself in August, with suitcase full of dreams opening up a new chapter called Lewis & Clark.

(here is the link if it sparked anyone’s interest  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xs1XKxf_dM )