I was born and raised in Belgrade, the capital of a small, landlocked country in Europe named Serbia. Since I could not travel much when I was younger due to my family’s financial situation I spent most of my youth fantasizing of other countries and dreaming of living in a different environment. That is how I ended up going to Armenia when I turned 17. I jumped at the first opportunity of leaving Serbia and moved to the Caucasus to attend UWC Dilijan. Now, when I look back at my decision to leave my homeland, it feels as if I did it for all the wrong reasons. UWC seemed as an escape, but it was so much more than that. The two years spent in Armenia taught me that what makes a country are its people – the same as the saying “You have to be the change that you want to see in the world.” Living with people from 80 different countries made me realize how I should appreciate my own and celebrate the differences between all of us, as they can teach us the best how to be better. That is how I got a new dream – to go back to my country and help it achieve its potential. That dream led me to Lewis and Clark.
I even considered going back home after getting my IB diploma, but I realized that what would offer the best outcome is first getting an education from a place where I could learn more about sustainable living, as that is one of the big setbacks of my country. I will study political science so I will later be able to go back and contribute by enhancing sustainability through political means.
Moreover, I am thrilled to see Oregon’s nature, as I enjoy hiking and exploring – something I learned to love when I got lost while trying to find a new trail with friends while traveling in Artsakh. I am also excited to live in a city that buzzes with life, such as Portland. Hopefully I will get lost with friends in the beauty of this place and learn to call it home.