Megha Viswanathan

UWC attended: Mahindra United World College of India
Class Year: Class of 2018

Wake up to realize I haven’t been transported to my room back home. Cry on the phone to my parents or best friend a thousand miles away. Feel symptoms of acute anxiety disorder each time someone tries to make eye/verbal contact. Drag myself through the day, and run to my room the moment classes end. Avoid human contact with anyone not virtual and miles away……This was how I spent the first month in Mahindra United World College of India (MUWCI). When I excitedly stepped out of my home of fifteen years in spite of the frowns, concerns, and questions that tried to stop me, I hadn’t imagined that I would be too lost outside it to enjoy any of the things about UWC life I had longed for so much. I was going through an excruciating case of “Homesickness” and “Culture shock”, but at the bottom of it, it was fear that had gripped me. It was the fear of being on my own. Fear of responsibility, of being an individual; navigating my way around in a group of unfamiliar faces. I was feeling the pangs of being dragged away from the blissful lap of tribal security.

The very same things that terrified me then, are what I value the most in my UWC experience. I was drawn out of my comfort zone, where I discovered the liberating joy of fighting my fears. Over the two years, I met amazingly unique people, who challenged, questioned, and expanded the tiny world I was holding on to. I loved that there was always an amazing story someone had to share, a fascinating idea being discussed, an incredible conversation waiting for me. It thrilled me that all of the unimaginably different people I was lucky to know had something in common, they all fostered the passion to make a difference, which to me was the ultimate manifestation of the UWC ideal of social commitment. I treasured the Life of the Mind MUWCI introduced me to, with an ever active, intellectually stimulating and passionate environment, where curiosity, discussion and debate were a way of life. Most of all, I loved that there was always a new challenge, a new opportunity to grow.

It is this spirit of challenge that I hope will energize my life at Lewis and Clark. I hope for a home that I would be comfortable in, but which never ceases to challenge and question me, push my boundaries, help me discover, and grow. It was the multi-cultural student-body that played a key role in my UWC experience, and the immensely diverse student population of Lewis and Clark is what drew me most to the college. I look forward to the discourse with unique individuals from around the world that will enrich my learning experience, broaden my understanding of the world and increase my sensitivity to the wonders of cultural diversity. My fascination with people extends to my academic interests as well, and it is Psychology that I plan to major in at Lewis and Clark. I’m intrigued by people, their interactions, decisions, emotions, why they behave the way they do.…in short, the human mind. In or outside class, I enjoy reading, poetry, and long conversations. And the un-nerd version of me can be found cooking, eating (read- gobbling), dancing, ardently obsessing over tiny details of TV series, or taking long walks. In the company of a wonderful peer group, I hope to explore all of those.