Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Hi and welcome! The title of this post may be a little misleading (this will be a very unusual update format) so if it's your first time stopping by the blog, I encourage you to check out a few of my other entries prior to this one to get a better idea of what the activities, slang, and UWC references I use are all about!
A couple that might be of interest:
This is an excerpt from my IB Student Profile and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class. At the close of every academic term, students are given space to contemplate their experience at Pearson College in the form of reflections. This affords us the opportunity to record and track their development as academics and as human beings. Reflections include discussions of academic progress, endeavours and adventures undertaken through CAS activities, physical and mental wellbeing, and community engagement, among any other topics we'd like to include.
Never in my life would I have thought that at 16 I'd be packing my bags, hugging my friends & family farewell, and boarding a one-way flight from my hometown in southern Ontario to Victoria, British Columbia. A little crazy? Maybe. But I'm finally here!
And it's surreal.
As I'm writing this from a comfy couch in the (temporary) Vic House 🐍 day room surrounded by friends, roommates and a wide assortment of delectable teas, I'm finding myself in disbelief that I arrived at Pearson only one week ago. It's completely true that one day here feels more like a a fortnight in regular time because there's always so much to do, so many new people to meet, and so many experiences to make.
I've written about my arrival and UWC story in great detail over on my blog (that's right here!), and I invite you to check it out! In addition to this portfolio (link to come), my website is little corner of the internet where I hope to document my experiences at Pearson, things I've learned, and advice for future UWCers. It's mainly a way for my friends and family at home to stay up-to-date on my recent shenanigans, but I also hope it'll be some use to the friends I meet ahead and people with an interest in UWC.
Today's task is to describe my first taste of Pearson life 😎 and set some personal goals to be reflected on again once I graduate. At the moment, two years seems a long ways away (future self, I know you're laughing at my naivety) but I know it will go by FAST and I'm trying to soak in every minute.
An incredible experience I've already had thus far was the opportunity to visit Race Rocks - an Ecological Reserve and lighthouse station that is home to countless species of wildlife and ocean life 🦈, including sea lions, elephant seals, bald eagles, and orcas! It's located 6km off the shores of Pedder Bay (our campus) and is currently being looked after by eco-guardians, Mara (Pearson College alum) & Kai whom we had the pleasure to meet and spend time with. I'm blown away by the amount of history and culture tied to such a small piece of land and I plan to help preserve these stories by joining the newly created Race Rocks Curriculum Development Team as one of my extra-curricular clubs.
Our goal is to design an educational model that will allow every Pearson student the opportunity to experience an extended weekend-long stay at Race Rocks as well as a hub of resources that will help us continue creating a lasting impact after our visit. Other projects include an on-campus event to raise awareness about the environmental issues in our area (which may include an immerse darkroom experience!) as well as a short docu-film that we hope to film over the next two years that will include interviews with the indigenous leaders and scientists from around the world with connections to this special place.
It still amazes me how many doors Pearson has opened just by being here. I can't say that I would have thought of tackling such an ambitious project on my own back home, but I'm so excited to work with people that have so much passion for what we're doing, and an admin team that is so supportive of our initiative. Regardless of the outcome, I'm looking forward to building on these ideas and doing my best to make them a reality.
As for CAS (click to read more), I'd really love to join Expedition Kayaking or maybe Outrigger Canoe as a second choice. The draw will be taking place over the weekend and I can't wait to hear the results next week!
LIVE INTERRUPTION: I just signed up to be a part of the group of ten students that Travis is taking hiking up Bald Mountain this weekend! This will be my VERY FIRST OFFICIAL FULL DAY HIKE and I can't wait!!! VERY EXCITED 😆 if you couldn't already tell - hopefully there will be many more to come :)
-May or may not have startled my roommate by squealing out loud
Speaking of which, I have the loveliest roommates, both of whom are second years from Japan 🎌 and Afghanistan. We have so much in common and I'm looking forward to a great year with them! Since my arrival we've had a couple spontaneous room-bondings (the best kind) and I couldn't ask for better mentors. My last roommate will also be an international student 🌍 (tbd) that we hope to meet soon!
Transitioning from my own room to a dorm environment (with 2 other roommates!) was surprisingly a much easier experience than I anticipated. We all have similar routines and are early risers so I never have to worry about being woken up in the night or accidentally waking someone else. One thing I have become aware of during these first few weeks of orientation is how much of an introvert I am. While I love meeting new people and getting to know them, I very much rely on moments of solitude to recharge after a long day. I'm actually quite glad I recognized the cause of my exhaustion so early on and since adjusting my schedule to free up a few minutes of daily independent time (whether it be a walk, a swim, or some tea by the water) it hasn't at all been an issue.
Overall, my Pearson adventure has consisted of a crazy few days (in the best way possible!) but I'm sure the immediate chaos will wear off as classes start. One thing I've noticed is that there is ALWAYS an activity going on at Pearson whether it be a game, hike, bay jump, or party, and it's up to us as students to prioritize our tasks and decide which events are worth going to. That's something I'll have to figure out more as I go, but I'm looking forward to all UWC has to offer!
Thanks for reading until the end- I hope you enjoyed this unusual type of post! I'll be back with more regular updates next week (perhaps about my weekend hike 👀😮?!?!)
Ps. UWC applications (click the hyperlink) are now open in most countries! Further questions? Don't hesitate to reach out - I'd love to hear from you!
PPs. Thank you to all the lovely people who have reached out so far! It's incredibly gratifying (and equally as exciting!) to know that this mess of a blog has been helpful to some. I wish you all the best of luck with your applications : )
Until next time,