Ruth Makonnen

UWC attended: United World College of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Class Year: Class of 2022

Everyone is always looking for something whether it be something specific like a job, or something more general, e.g. happiness or success. I feel like this feeling of wanting something was even more amplified in the people at UWC. All of us left our homes in the hopes of finding something new, something that then was completely unknown. We all came to Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) expecting something, but none of us were really sure what that something would be. I think, after these two years, I can say with certainty it’s not only newfound knowledge, or idealism, or friends from all parts of the world. It’s also a sense of knowing yourself better and a certain belief of your capabilities. You realize just how much your surroundings and the people around you can have an effect on you and vise versa.

For me, UWC in Mostar was a home. I was born in Ethiopia and moved to the Netherlands when I was nine-years-old. While I call both of these countries my homes, Mostar (and the rest of the Balkans) has a special place in my heart. It’s a place that challenged me in more ways than one, but most of all showed me how incredible people can be. There, friends become family and time seems to slow down and go by really fast at the same time as you go through so much in just two years. It is like growing up in full intensity, and no words can truly describe the plethora of emotions that go paired with such an experience. I had the greatest years in Mostar and it now feels like the place where I found that something I was looking for before I left for UWC.

Lewis & Clark is an experience I am very excited to begin with. When looking into LC I noticed the same kind of open-minded approach as in UWC towards both education and lifestyle. Liberal Arts would allow me to explore all the different fields I am interested in, so I would never have to feel limited to only one field of study. I am planning on majoring in Psychology, but also want to include Sociology either as another major or minor. Psychology had been an interest of mine for a long time and thus I chose to pursue it as a career as I couldn’t imagine studying anything with as much passion for the field. Generally, I love social sciences and humanities. Being able to take courses of fields like philosophy and linguistics is therefore something I’m really looking forward to. Outside of the classroom, I’d like to continue with creative writing and poetry which is something I love doing. I’m hoping to keep practicing American Sign Language in LC as I did in UWC and before, as well as dedicate time to new hobbies like photography.

Right now, I am looking forward to four years at Lewis & Clark and can’t wait to see what new things will come my way. I know very little about how it will be, but I am trying to have no expectations since I can’t predict any of it anyways. However, I am ready for a change and I am sure I will find that at LC. All I can say is that I’ll embrace whatever will come my way with open arms and an open mind. See you soon, LC!