Growing up on Aruba has taught me many things. I learnt the value of a community where strangers greet you on the streets, a love for languages since no one was going to learn ours and a yearning to leave and never come back. From a young age I knew that as soon as I finished high school I would have to leave my home. I was going to have to go to the Netherlands (the European “mainland” if you would) to find a good education and I knew, from everyone who went before me, that I probably won’t come back. So when I got the chance to go to Bosnia and Herzegovina to finish my last two years of high school at UWC in Mostar I was ecstatic, not in the least because I had been planning to apply since I was 10 years old. UWC was so much better and worse than I could have imagined. It was stressful and included a lot more crying than I expected, but there were so many moments I will treasure now that I have graduated. In Mostar I could go to Dubrovnik and be back by curfew, leave for Hungary and know that even though I’ve never really spoken to my travel partners, they’d have my back. There was a community, even with all our passive aggressive emails and arguments over stolen milk and the ethics vegetarianism. There were friendships made from common difficulties as well as laughter. Friendships that now have to stand the test of time and distance as we go back to being scattered around the globe. But even though I’m sad to leave, I’m looking forward to something new.
Going somewhere new is exciting, alright, but deciding on a college was an overwhelming process. For the longest time I couldn’t decide on what country I wanted to go to, let alone what school. Eventually though, I sat down and wrote a list of what I think is important for a school to have. Now, Lewis & Clark doesn’t meet all what I expected from Jady’s Criteria for the Perfect College (yes, I named the list); it’s a larger school than I’d imagine attending and, to be honest, Portland’s weather worries me. But I was fooling myself if I thought I was going to find a perfect college. Such a thing doesn’t exist. I picked Lewis & Clark because I think I can be happy there. There’s a sense of community I couldn’t live without after living in Aruba and Mostar, but there’s also enough freedom to leave campus for it not to be stifling. I want to learn new and unexpected things, study abroad in places I’ve never been and be pushed to challenge myself intellectually.
There are plenty of areas I’d like to study, but I think I’d like to major in history because it’s fascinating and amazing and I think everyone should study history. Hopefully I can become a curator in a foreign museum (because Aruba only has one, ha) or something else that won’t end up with me teaching. My other favorite academic interest is behavioral economics after writing my extended essay on it which I really enjoyed doing if I ignore that one weekend before the deadline where I didn’t sleep at all. I would have majored in that if I it didn’t mean studying econ as a whole as well. Recently, however, I have become increasingly more frustrated with the Aruban government even as I am considering leaving the country for good. Because of this (and my unfailing naiveté) I am thinking of minoring in political science with the hope of perhaps being able to do something useful for my country, although I am not so blindly optimistic as to not consider the very real possibility of ending up as a vocal protestor which wouldn’t be a problem if it would help pay the bills in any way.
If history doesn’t prove to be very useful at giving me a job, I would like to fund my way off my sister’s couch by becoming a food blogger as that combines my hobbies of cooking, eating and talking in a way I could enjoy. Other than my immeasurable love for food, I love reading, exploring new cities, going on rollercoasters, listening to podcasts and writing (angsty) poetry. I can’t tell what the future holds, so I’ll try not to have too many expectations, but I cringe at what people mean with UWC being the best two years of their lives. Although I will treasure them always, I hope they won’t be mine.