Hello! My name is Yashshree Raj Bisht but you can call me Yash. I can try to accurately describe myself but identity is complex, ever changing and mystifying. Here are some small quirky facts- I love reading and I firmly believe that bubble wrap makes most things okay. I am a fan of cool, rainy evenings when you can sit with a book and a hot beverage. I use words like ostentatious, quite ostentatiously. I like telling stories, watching anime and being a nerd. I hate centipedes.
I was born and brought up in the small Himalayan town of Dehradun in India. Going to UWCSEA after studying in a small, all-girls, catholic school was quite a big change. UWC was amazing because it introduced me to ideas that I could never have fathomed. It was amazing because I could be openly bisexual. It was amazing because no one told me to get real when I said that I wanted to be an author. It was amazing because while other teenagers worried about Kylie’s new lip kit, we worried about rising aggressive nationalism and political shifts. We worked with children and senior citizens. We learned how to live sustainably. There was no small talk. One could just turn to a random stranger in school and start a conversation with, “What are your thoughts on death?” or “What do you think of neutron stars?” Teachers did not demand respect. They earned it. No one judged you for being different. They cherished you for it. In UWC I realised that I was passionate about Languages and Theatre. I knew that I wanted to pursue these subjects in college. When I found out that L&C had great English and Theatre departments. It seemed like a perfect fit.
I told my University Advisor what I loved about UWC and what I wanted in a University. She recommended Lewis and Clark. I was looking for a University with a holistic approach to learning and an accepting community. Lewis and Clark offered all that and so much more. When I was going through the college website a few lines under the Academics section really stood out to me: ‘Life is not divided neatly into chemistry and physics, economics and sociology, or English and history. In fact, these areas are deeply intertwined, affecting each other in sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle ways.’ As soon as I read those two lines, I knew that I wanted to apply to Lewis and Clark. I have never seen myself as a science person or an arts person. I love to learn. I strongly believe in the idea that all areas of study overlap to weave a beautiful web of true knowledge. The L&C campus is beautiful and the academic programs seemed great.
I have lived in Singapore and India. I have been to Malaysia, Vietnam, Sydney, and Indonesia on various vacations and school trips. I did cycling and trekking in Vietnam for our school’s project week. I did a week long Theatre Workshop at NIDA in Sydney. However, I have never been to the west of the world. My only knowledge of the U.S. comes from second hand sources such as people who live there, the Internet, and Hollywood.
One thing that I would like to accomplish at Lewis and Clark is building relationships. I have been told that in college you learn less from books and more from the people you meet there. I want to be able to look back at my Lewis and Clark days and say, “I am so glad I did that.”