Iris Dugalic

Iris Dugalic

UWC attended: United World College of Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Class Year: Class of 2024

My name is Iris, and I come from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am quite indecisive, so it took a while to start writing about myself. I know, maybe starting about my background with a personal disadvantage isn’t the best idea, but I figured that this way the rest of my writing might be less anticlimactic. Anyway, as paradoxical as it may sound I really enjoy writing, especially poetry, but I’ll just say that writing about myself might be a bit more challenging than I expected. I usually use writing to speak to myself, since it mostly involves my thoughts and seeing these on a paper makes them slightly more digestive. Similarly, graduating from UWCiM left more unanswered questions and never ending dilemmas, and I say it is similar because it was challenging. Now that I look back, I can only see that I’ve began to engulf myself with the world, and because of this my hunger grew, still I recognize that it is yet to be tamed or perhaps I like to believe that this curiosity never ends even after being suppressed by the shadow of the moving world. So I come from this small country with great history and even greater presence of imaginary borders, and I guess my need to wish beyond the fence comes as an intermediate of my environment. Well, the one to thank besides my country is UWC, it sort of gave me that push and courage to explore and wonder. And because of them I want to know more, see more and what better way there is than to actually physically cross borders?

What I liked about UWCiM the most was its diversity. I truly stand for the idea of learning through such a dynamic environment, because it offered me so many different perspectives through daily interactions that introduced me to completely new understandings of myself and the world around me. In general, the spirit of UWC is centered around community values, and these values really showed me the good side of people, because whenever and wherever you experience this warmth it will always be reassuring and welcoming.

I’ve wanted to continue with a similar learning environment to UWC in my further studies, and after hearing from alumni about Lewis & Clark I’ve deduced that in that aspect they seem to be similar. Furthermore, after learning about the combination of academic programs and extra-curricular activities at L&C, I decided to consider it as one of my top choices.

I think I will major in psychology and minor in neuroscience. This interest is something I’ve sort of recognized only recently, because I’ve always had unanswered questions about the human behavior and biological origins of it, and alongside these questions I’ve wondered through which field should I search for answers. Well, then I started studying psychology and realized that this was a subject in which I was willing to invest energy and time. Furthermore, I’ve always had a varying field of interests, but after exploring psychology and its biological approach I hit the bulls eye; my wish of combining debates of origins, existence and neurons came to life.

I really enjoy spending time in nature, I was practically raised on a mountain and ever since early childhood I’ve learned to appreciate the stunning ways of nature. This time usually consists of hiking, taking photos, picking herbs and simply absorbing the beauty. Besides this I really enjoy sports, especially swimming, and lately I’ve been getting into combinations of fitness and kick boxing as well as dancing, it really shakes you up- I recommend it. Moreover, I have a great interest in literature, I like reading and analyzing what I’ve read, and I write poetry. One day I’d like to publish a poetry collection, but until then I’ll try to get out of my comfort zone while reading my poems. Now for the not so productive hobby, I really like watching anime, especially psychological sci-fi futuristic ones that question many pillars that the human life consists of. Even though I strive to resist the addictiveness of scrolling down an app, my all-time favorite guilty pleasure is Quora, I just scroll down and read about the most unethical experiments or historical facts (pretty fun?). Oh, and I also like cooking.

I didn’t expect this question would be so difficult to answer, but I guess I am an over-thinker. But, it perhaps enhances my hobbies, such as writing poetry. I am usually intensely inspired by nature, and sometimes getting lost in my thoughts really gets my creativity going. So yeah, sort of bohemian but I’ll accept it as my faith.

My main academic interest is neuroscience and psychology, but I am also interested in some branches of psychology such as developmental and marketing psychology. As well, I am interested in studying languages and literature, additionally molecular biology is one of my fields of interest.

Well, I’ve only been to a few countries and it was always for touristic purposes. I’ve been to Turkey, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. The Balkan countries I have listed were usually trips organized by my school, except for Croatia where I usually go for vacations. But so far my favorite visits were to Istanbul, Turkey and Heidelberg, Germany. I really enjoy seeing different architecture styles and all of those unique aesthetics each country has. And these two cities were my favorites for that reason.

At college I truly wish to expand my horizons, and learn as much as I possibly can. I want to figure out which “career” path I want to take, and in general focus more on my future plans. Among all these difficult new decisions I really want to establish a healthy environment for myself, space for relaxation and care. Maybe I am way too hopeful but I think that this time at college is the right one to at least start developing a path for myself.