My time at UWC Mahindra College (MUWCI) was truly transformational. One thing that played a particularly strong role there was our beautiful community. I grew up in a little town in Armenia, not far from the capital, Yerevan. My town–and Armenia in general–is very monoethnic, so it was a big change for me to be in such a diverse community far from my home country. I learned a lot about other cultures and other ways of life, but also looked deeper into my own identity and culture.
Even though the community we had at MUWCI was very diverse, over time I developed a strong sense of belonging. Interestingly, this was crucial for my personal growth: I was inspired by my friends to try new things and felt safe enough to fail. I discovered my love for the outdoors, passion for cycling, interest in acting, and many other things. I also learned that I enjoy being an active member of my community and giving back to it.
After UWC, I was planning to spend a year in Ecuador with a Gap Year Program called Global Citizen Year. The plan was to learn about Ecuadorian culture, do service work, learn Spanish, and have the time and space to digest all those intense experiences I had at MUWCI. However, like many people across the globe, I also had to change my plans because of the global pandemic. I returned to Armenia and spent the year with my family. After some time, I found a job here, developed my yoga practice, started attending dance classes, and spent many hours on my bike exploring Armenia.
At Lewis and Clark, I hope to continue exploring my interests both inside and outside of the classroom. Currently I do not have a major in my mind and I am excited to take advantage of the Liberal Arts education and explore different disciplines. Additionally, I look forward to connecting with the LC community on campus as well as with the bigger community in Portland. Last but not least, I am excited to cycle around in Oregon and connect with its nature.